P. 1
Aromatherapy Basics

Aromatherapy Basics

|Views: 233|Likes:
Published by Pratima Patel
Aromatherapy, health and well being, scent,
Aromatherapy, health and well being, scent,

More info:

Published by: Pratima Patel on Apr 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less






  • Introduction to Aromatherapy
  • The History of Aromatherapy
  • Aromatherapy in its Diversity of Care
  • Research and Funding
  • Safety in Aromatherapy
  • Contra-indications and Cautions for Aromatherapy Massage
  • >toxicity
  • Toxicity
  • Irritation
  • Sensitisation
  • Safety Precautions When Using Essential Oils
  • Safe Handling and Storage
  • The Extraction of an Essential Oil
  • Storage Factors Associated with Essential Oils
  • Methods of Extraction
  • Adulteration of Essential Oils
  • Factors to Consider When Purchasing Essential Oils
  • The Essential Oils
  • Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy
  • The Biosynthesis Pathway of Essential Oils
  • 2O
  • Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Structure of Essential Oils
  • Oxygenated Compounds
  • Chemical Compounds and Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oils
  • Chemotypes
  • Techniques used in Essential Oil Analysis
  • Essential Oils and a Question of Purity
  • The Physiology of Aromatherapy
  • The Absorption of Essential Oils into the Bloodstream
  • The Theory of Olfaction
  • The Limbic System
  • The Circulatory System
  • The Lymphatic System
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Nervous System
  • The Musculo-skeletal System
  • The Aromatherapy Consultation
  • The Purpose of a Consultation
  • The Consultation Form
  • Record Keeping
  • Guidelines for Case Studies
  • Blending in Aromatherapy
  • Synergy
  • Blending
  • Properties and Uses of Carrier Oils
  • Common Carrier Oils used in Aromatherapy
  • How to Blend Oils for Aromatherapy Massage
  • Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy
  • Yin and Yang
  • Meridians
  • Chakras
  • Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment
  • Aromatherapy Massage Techniques
  • Preparing for the Aromatherapy Massage
  • Health, Safety and Hygiene
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Aromatherapy Massage Procedure
  • Other Forms of Treatment
  • Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist
  • Maintaining Employment Standards
  • Business Planning
  • Professional Ethics
  • Professional Associations
  • Insurance
  • Legal Requirements
  • Getting Started
  • Research in Aromatherapy
  • Turning the Research Idea into a Proposal
  • Seeking Funding
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Useful Addresses
  • Index

Therapy Basics
second edition


Orders: please contact Bookpoint Ltd, 130 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4SB. Telephone: (44) 01235 827720. Fax: (44) 01235 400454. Lines are open from 9.00–5.00, Monday to Saturday, with a 24 hour message answering service. You can also order through our website www.hodderheadline.co.uk British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library ISBN-10: 0 340 876808 ISBN-13: 978 0 340 87680 0 First edition published 1997 This edition published 2003 Impression number 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 Year 2007 2006 Copyright © Helen McGuinness All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or under licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited. Further details of such licences (for reprographic reproduction) may be obtained from the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited, of 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP. Cover photo from Photodisc Typeset by Fakenham Photosetting, Fakenham, Norfolk. Printed in India for Hodder Arnold, an imprint of Hodder Education, a member of the Hodder Headline Group, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH

Acknowledgements Introduction
Introduction to Aromatherapy The History of Aromatherapy Aromatherapy in its Diversity of Care Research and Funding vi vii

Introduction to Aromatherapy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1 2 4 4

Safety in Aromatherapy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Safety in Aromatherapy Contra-indications and Cautions for Aromatherapy Massage Toxicity Irritation Sensitisation Safety Precautions When Using Essential Oils Safe Handling and Storing

7 8 12 14 15 17 17

The Extraction of an Essential Oil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Extraction of an Essential Oil Storage Factors Associated with Essential Oils Methods of Extraction Adulteration of Essential Oils Factors to Consider when Purchasing Essential Oils

23 24 25 29 29

The Essential Oils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The Essential Oils


Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy The Biosynthesis Pathway of Essential Oils Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry Chemical Structure of Essential Oils Oxygenated Compounds Chemical Compounds and Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oils Chemotypes

101 102 103 103 105 108 108

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Techniques used in Essential Oil Analysis Essential Oils and a Question of Purity

109 111

The Physiology of Aromatherapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
The Physiology of Aromatherapy The Absorption of Essential Oils into the Bloodstream The Theory of Olfaction The Limbic System The Circulatory System The Lymphatic System The Endocrine System The Nervous System The Musculo-skeletal System

115 115 120 122 123 123 124 125 127

The Aromatherapy Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
The Aromatherapy Consultation The Purpose of a Consultation The Consultation Form Record Keeping Guidelines for Case Studies

131 131 133 134 140

Blending in Aromatherapy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Blending in Aromatherapy Synergy Blending Properties and Uses of Carrier Oils Common Carrier Oils used in Aromatherapy How to Blend Oils for Aromatherapy Massage

143 143 144 147 148 156

Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Yin and Yang Meridians Chakras

160 160 162 175

Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment . . . . . . . . . 10
Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Aromatherapy Massage Techniques Preparing for the Aromatherapy Massage Health, Safety and Hygiene Relaxation Techniques

183 183 187 189 190


. . . . . . . 12 Research in Aromatherapy Getting Started Turning the Research Idea into a Proposal Seeking Funding 232 232 233 234 Glossary Bibliography Useful Addresses Index 236 237 238 241 v . . . . . . . . .Contents Aromatherapy Massage Procedure Other Forms of Treatment 192 195 Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist . . . . 11 Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Maintaining Employment Standards Business Planning Marketing Professional Ethics Professional Associations Insurance Legal Requirements 202 203 209 215 219 221 221 222 Research in Aromatherapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

37. for their support and encouragement in the development of the book and for their valued contributions. 21. vi . and to my mother. 15. 3. 5 . My thanks also goes to my husband. 8. Valerie. thanks are due to all my students at the Holistic Training Centre. Mark.Acknowledgements I would like to extend my thanks to my father. 38 courtesy of The Garden Picture Library. 6. for his great skill in producing the illustrations for this book. 10. to Pamela Trodd and Karen Harrisson for their valued feedback on the first edition of this book. 20. Berni Hephrun of Butterbur and Sage for supplying information regarding the quality of essential oils. 29. and Photos 39. John Marks for his technical help with the aroma chemistry chapter. Chris Ockendon of New Horizon Aromatics for his valued contributions to the text. 35. 18. 13. My sincere thanks to Nicole Cameron (a student at the Holistic Training Centre) for kindly granting use of her case study. 41 courtesy of Getty Images. Southampton. 4. 16. My grateful thanks also extends to the following people: Deirdre Moynihan and Stephanie Mealey of AVCS for their technical help in checking the accuracy of the text and for their valued contributions. For the reproduction of photographs the publisher would like to thank the following: Photos 1. 25. 40. Alan Harris. 30. 34. 11. and especially for her encouragement. 36 courtesy of The Holt Studios Photographic Library. Roy. 26. for her patience in checking the text for grammar. 9. love and support throughout the development of this book. 33. the secretary of the ATC for providing me with valuable information. 28. 19. Photos 2. 12. 32. 14. 22. I would also like to express my gratitude to the AOC (Aromatherapy Organisations Council) for their valuable information on research. 17. 31. 27. who has provided considerable help. 7. Finally. 23. 26.

the aim of the workbook is to help candidates to generate portfolio evidence of underpinning knowledge for their NVQ qualification. in order to assess overall understanding of the individual subject areas. vii . it offers a very rewarding career. The material contained within the book has been designed to be interactive. It meets the underpinning knowledge requirements of the NVQ Level III in Aromatherapy Massage. but also covers the knowledge requirements of more traditional diploma courses. Each chapter has tasks and selfassessment questions to complete. and for those interested in holistic health care. As well as providing a comprehensive knowledge of aromatherapy. This workbook is intended for those undertaking a professional course of training in aromatherapy or for qualified aromatherapists who want to update and extend their knowledge of the subject.Introduction Aromatherapy has grown in popularity over the past ten years to become recognised as a complementary therapy.

This page intentionally left blank .

The primary form of aromatherapy applications involves using essential oils in the following ways: > topically to the skin via massage. it helps to restore the harmony between mind and body. 1 . Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your practical work carried out as an aromatherapist: > how aromatherapy has developed > uses of aromatherapy. > A competent aromatherapist needs to be able to understand aromatherapy as a holistic therapy.Introduction to Aromatherapy CHAPTER 1 Aromatherapy is the art of using essential oils to help restore balance in the body. in so doing. as it aims to treat the whole person by taking account not only of their physical state but also their emotions.000 years old. and give accurate advice and guidance to clients. Disillusionment with orthodox medicine has caused many people to turn to the natural remedies that have been part of our folklore for many thousands of years. Today it represents one of the fastest growing complementary therapies in the UK. diluted in a carrier oil > inhalations > compresses > aromatic baths. and is a form of natural healing that is more than 8. in order to apply suitable treatments. which can have a profound effect on general well-being. Aromatherapy is a truly holistic therapy. An essential oil is the highly concentated volatile substance obtained from various parts of the aromatic plant. It works on the principle that the most effective way to promote health and prevent illness is to strengthen the body’s immune system. Aromatherapy can be defined as the systematic use of essential oils in holistic treatments to help improve physical and emotional well-being.

This discovery led him to undertake a great deal of research into the medicinal uses of essential oils. The Greeks and Romans used aromatic oils for aromatic massages and in daily baths. which he used to produce pure oils and aromatic waters. Hippocrates. and his work revealed that it is possible for essential oils to penetrate the skin and be carried in the blood and lymphatic system to the organs. who reputedly wrote over 100 books describing over 800 plants and their effects on the body. which contained the medicinal properties of hundreds of plants. The first evidence of the wide-ranging use of aromatic oils comes from Ancient Egypt – Egyptians extracted oils by a method of infusion. They discovered that the odour of certain plants and flowers was stimulating and invigorating. which was later used as a perfume by the Greeks and Romans. after the fall of Rome and the advent of Christianity. and used them as cosmetics. while others were sedative and relaxing. However. the invention and development of printing across Europe resulted in the publication of many herbals or books that included recipes for making essential oils. The Greek. He discovered through burning his arm while making fragrances in his laboratory. due to the fact that the vast majority of essential oils have antiseptic properties. It is a known fact that people who used aromatic oils were the only ones to survive the Plague that struck Europe during these centuries.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The History of Aromatherapy The history of the application of essential oils to the human body goes back to at least 2000 BC. The most famous Arab physician was Avicenna. The Greek soldiers also carried essential oils such as myrrh into battle with them for the treatment of wounds. was the first person to record the method of distillation of turpentine. Herodotus. and claimed that the best way to achieve good health was to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day! The writings of Hippocrates and others were translated into Arabic languages. Modern developments The scientific study of the therapeutic properties of essential oils was commenced by the French cosmetic chemist. The earliest written record of the use of aromatic oils in England was in the 13th century. One of the most famous Egyptian aromatic formulas was a mixture of 16 aromatic substances called ‘kyphi’. Dr Jean Valnet used essential oils to treat severe burns and battle injuries. 2 . The knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants was later reinforced by Nicholas Culpeper. around 425 BC. One of the earliest uses of aromatic oils by the Egyptians was incense for religious purposes and for embalming the dead to delay decomposition of bodies. surviving Roman physicians fled to Constantinople. and left no scarring. The ancient Greeks and Romans acquired much of their knowledge regarding the use of aromatic oils from the Egyptians. a Greek physician. that the essential oil of lavender was exceptionally healing to the skin. taking their books and knowledge with them. a development of the more primitive form of distillation. wrote about a vast range of medicinal plants. Other French doctors and scientists continued his work and helped to validate the status of essential oils as scientific substances. Records in the Bible show the use of plants and their aromatic oils both for the treatment of illness and for religous purposes. Most notably. his most important act in terms of aromatherapy is being credited with inventing the refrigerated coil. From 1470–1670. Renee Gattefosse. a celebrated herbalist who wrote a book of herbs in 1652. in the 1920s.

listing the benefits of aromatherapy as ‘promoting relaxation. which is moving towards voluntary self-regulation for aromatherapy and therefore provides the basis for eventual statutory regulation. a more holistic approach in which essences are chosen according to the physical and emotional needs of the client. through to the clinical approach of aromatherapy employed in a health care setting.org. Around 40 per cent of GP practices offer their patients access to some form of non-conventional treatment. By the middle of the 20th century. and is used in many hospitals and clinics across the country. Marguerite Maury devoted the rest of her working life to teaching and training therapists in the special techniques she had developed. cosmetic and food industries. from the provision of aromatherapy massage for stress relief and relaxation. . as it becomes recognised as a complementary therapy. 3 . and has become an established textbook among serious aromatherapy practitioners. herbal medicine and aromatic remedies lost credibility with the growth of modern synthetic drug industry. and are subject to an approval process through the Standards Setting Body Skills for Health and the Aromatherapy Organisations Council. Aromatherapists in the UK currently work at different levels. But. Today. the aromatherapy market has progressed commercially (it is worth at least £24 million in the UK alone) but has also developed to become available on the National Health Service (NHS). Research into this fascinating therapy is still taking place. thanks to Marguerite Maury. His book Aromatherapie (translated as The Practice of Aromatherapy) confirms the findings of Gattefosse. A range of National Occupational Standards is being defined to encompass the broad spectrum of practitioners who work in different settings. despite its ancient origins. who was a student of Gattefosse. by combining the use of essential oils with massage. who began to introduce essential oils with massage to help relieve stress and skin conditions. aromatherapy is still in its infancy in the UK. aromatherapy has developed from being used mainly in perfumes and cosmetics to a more holistic treatment – true aromatherapy lies in selecting and blending oils individually for each client. treating painful muscular conditions and reducing anxiety . Aromatherapy and the NHS The Department of Health issued guidelines in June 2000 on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to Primary Care Groups.aromatherapy-regulation. Since the original publication of this book in 1997. Details of the progress of regulation of the aromatherapy profession may be accessed by visiting www.uk. and was introduced to Britain in the late 1950s by Marguerite Maury. Aromatherapy in Britain The term ‘aromatherapy’ was coined by Gattefosse. The Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC) was instrumental in setting up the Aromatherapy Regulation Working Group. such as aromatherapy.Introduction to Aromatherapy in the absence of medical supplies. Despite this. . the role of essential oils was reduced to being employed in the perfumes. cardiac and palliative care’. Her first lectures in Britain were to beauty therapists. She developed specialised massage techniques and the ‘individual prescription’. The aromatherapy industry is currently working towards regulation of the profession. She developed Gattefosse’s work to a more practical conclusion. however. with some evidence to support its beneficial use in intensive care.

org. BACUP is an organisation dedicated to helping people live with cancer. to name but a few. patients with high blood pressure. Aromatherapy and cancer care NHS cancer patients can now choose to receive a wide range of treatments. Rivington Street.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The advice given to primary care practitioners wishing to refer their patients to a complementary therapist recommends that they seek a therapist with an AOC recognised qualification. For reference to articles on specific subjects and examples of how aromatherapy has helped. Their address is BACUP. For details visit www. Projects such as these have proved extremely popular with staff in helping them to manage stress levels and improve staff morale. aromatherapy and massage. NHS primary care groups and health authorities are reluctant to spend large sums of money on nonconventional approaches. such as aromatherapy. The centre runs educational courses and workshops that are aimed at health professionals. 4 .cancerbacup. complementary therapists and lay people. visit www. without research-based evidence of effectiveness and efficacy. Aromatherapy in its Diversity of Care Aromatherapy is such a wide-reaching subject that there are endless examples of client groups it may benefit. couples with infertility problems. including aromatherapy. elderly clients with dementia.org. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre The Bristol Cancer Help Centre was founded in 1980 with the aim to pioneer a holistic approach to cancer care. Aromatherapists who wish to extend their professional knowledge and develop to work with clients with cancer may undertake a series of professional courses run at the Centre. 3 Bath Place.internethealthlibrary.uk. clients with anxiety. Aromatherapy and stress management Occupational health departments in some hospitals and private organisations offer a range of services to their staff including stress management.com. Aromatherapy is used to help many members of the community including children with common childhood problems such as eczema. Research and Funding Despite there being a greater acceptance of complementary medicine among health care professionals. from complementary therapy teams in around 90 per cent of hospitals and hospices throughout the country. there is still a lack of funding in the UK for research into non-orthodox methods of health care. They provide a wide range of support services and publish a list of informative publications including ‘Complementary Therapies and Cancer’.bristolcancerhelp. people with depression. London EC2A 3JR. Details are available by visiting their website at www.

training researchers. 2. See Chapter 12. Self-assessment Questions 1. and monitoring the development of research through to implementation). Aromatherapy today represents a de-stressing programme for the whole person and its extensive uses may complement orthodox treatments to help restore the body’s balance. disseminating information. May this wonderful therapy continue to soothe our stressed lives and progress well into the 21st century.Introduction to Aromatherapy This indicates a growing need for a national strategy for complementary medicine research. where funding may be allocated to give credibility to clinical trials in subjects such as aromatherapy on a sufficient number of patients. Why is aromatherapy often referred to as a ‘holistic therapy’? 5 . Serious funding is needed to support the many processes involved in research protocols (providing network resources. Define the term ‘aromatherapy’.

Give a brief outline of how aromatherapy developed from its more primitive use in Egyptian times to become a complementary therapy today. 6 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 3.

Safety in Aromatherapy CHAPTER 2 Essential oils have been used in the form of the whole plant for thousands of years for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. However. Contra-indications may be classified in the following way: > general contra-indications that affect all treatments > those that are localised and which affect specific areas > those that require special care. As the benefits of aromatherapy are generally so far reaching. 7 . there are certain medical conditions that may contra-indicate treatment or cases that may require special care and handling. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > contra-indications to aromatherapy > hazards associated with essential oils > safety precautions and guidelines when practising aromatherapy > storage and safe handling of essential oils. > A competent aromatherapist needs to understand and apply all safety precautions to the use of essential oils. it is tempting to assume that it will be effective for everyone. physiological and pharmacological effects on the body are therefore increased. but when distilled from the plant they become a hundred times more concentrated. Proportion is the key to a safe aromatherapy practice. Their physical. to ensure a safe and effective treatment. and knowledge of safe levels of usage are of paramount importance to a practising aromatherapist.

it should also be stressed that there are a multitude of essential oils whose effects may also benefit a client’s condition. whilst massage may be contra-indicated for certain conditions. skin creams and lotions etc). scarlet fever) these are contra-indicated due to the fact they are contagious. Contra-indications and Cautions for Aromatherapy Massage It should be remembered that clients with medical conditions might present with factors that may increase the effects of the essential oils used. compresses. 8 . It should also be considered that. However. always seek advice from the client’s GP before commencing treatment. Recent haemorrhage haemorrhaging is excessive bleeding. if available. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your client for aromatherapy treatments. Medical advice should always be sought for a client with a medical condition to reduce the risk of adverse effects. Massage should be avoided due to the risk of increasing blood spillage from blood vessels. Infectious diseases (colds. measles. If in any doubt. During fever.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note For insurance purposes and in order to work within strict ethical guidelines. flu. which may be either internal or external. an aromatherapist must ensure that if a client is currently undergoing medical treatment or is under hospital care. medical advice should be sought. other forms of treatment might be suitable (such as inhalation. then advice is sought from the client’s GP before any form of treatment is undertaken. Skin diseases care should be taken to avoid the risk of cross infection and of spreading the infection. tuberculosis. and guidelines for choice of essential oil should be based on common sense and reliable clinical data. body temperature rises as a result of infection. Conditions that are contra-indicated to aromatherapy massage include: Fever in the case of a fever there is a risk of spreading infection due to the increased circulation created by a massage. for instance Lavender essential oil combined with the relaxing effects of an aromatherapy massage may help to lower a client’s blood pressure and improve their general circulation.

If medical clearance is given. aromatherapy massage should be generally soothing and relaxing. in the event of an emergency. the massage should be applied lightly and gently. Marjoram and Sweet Orange. Several essential oils are said to help lower blood pressure and these include Clary Sage. Cancer medical advice and guidance should always be sought before carrying out an aromatherapy treatment on a client who has a cancerous condition. due to their susceptibility to form clots. Care should be taken to avoid essential oils that are more sedative and help to lower blood pressure. An important consideration is the choice of aroma as some types of epilepsy may be triggered by smells.Safety in Aromatherapy Conditions that may be contra-indicated or may require GP referral and an adaptation of treatment include: Severe circulatory disorders and heart conditions medical clearance should be sought as there is a risk that the increased circulation from the aromatherapy massage may overburden the heart and increase the risk of a thrombus or embolus. If clearance is given. Pressure should be carefully monitored due to any loss in sensory nerve function resulting in the client being unable to give accurate feedback regarding pressure. Low blood pressure care should be taken with a client suffering from low blood pressure when sitting or standing after massage due to the fact they may experience dizziness and could fall. 9 . There is therefore no reason to believe that gentle massage will cause cancer cells to spread. which would not otherwise have done so. the aromatherapy massage should be applied lightly and gently. high blood pressure and oedema. Lemon. Essential oils such as Lavender and Marjoram may help a client with a heart condition as they are considered to be heart sedatives. Clients taking anti-hypertensive medication may be prone to postural hypotension and may feel light-headed and dizzy after treatment. Once medical clearance is obtained. care should be taken to avoid the use of oils that are too stimulating on the nervous system or too deeply relaxing to reduce the risk of convulsions. Lavender. Thrombosis medical clearance should be sought as there is a risk that the increased circulation from the aromatherapy massage may move a clot to the heart. care should be taken to avoid aromatherapy massage on recent injection sites. in particular Lavender and Marjoram. Epilepsy medical advice should always be sought prior to massaging a client with a history of epilepsy. Common sense tells us that lymph flow will not be stimulated any more by gentle massage than it will by the muscular contraction caused by normal body movement. Diabetes clients with diabetes require medical referral as they may also be prone to arteriosclerosis. There is a theoretical risk that certain types of cancer may spread through the lymphatic system and that aromatherapy massage may aid in the metasis of the cancer. Care should therefore be taken to assist a client off the couch and ensure that they get up slowly. If medical clearance is given. High blood pressure clients with high blood pressure should have a medical referral prior to aromatherapy massage even if they are on prescribed medication. If the client is receiving injections. Clients should also have their necessary medications with them when they attend for treatment.

Care would need to be taken to avoid allergies to essential oils or carrier oils and care may be needed in the positioning of the client. Aromatherapy massage may increase the susceptibility to damage in the area by virtue of pressure and motion. Aromatherapy massage treatment. Allergies and skin intolerances a patch test would need to be carried out before treatment commences in order to eliminate the risk of adverse reaction to the essential oils proposed for use. It is well known that the use of certain essential oils and gentle aromatherapy massage can be beneficial to cancer patients in helping in palliative health care and in helping them to cope psychologically with their condition and alleviate some of the side effects of the cancer treatment. Varicose veins care should be taken to avoid direct pressure with massage on or around a varicose vein. The use of cell regenerating essential oils such as Lavender. When massaging a cancer patient. Special factors to be taken into consideration before an aromatherapy massage and which may require special care include: Asthma in general the use of specific essential oils with aromatherapy massage may help breathing difficulties such as asthma. Undiagnosed lumps. Gentle aromatherapy massage given proximally to the areas may help to reduce oedema and prevent venous and lymphatic stasis. Severe bruising localised massage is contra-indicated in order to avoid discomfort and pain. should be light and short and will usually be offered to specific areas such as the hands. face and feet. if inflamed. Cuts and abrasions these should be avoided as aromatherapy massage could further damage the healing tissue and expose the client and therapist to infection. If severe. Frankincense and Neroli can help in healing and cell regeneration. Stress-related skin conditions in particular respond favourably to aromatherapy. Conditions that may present as a localised contra-indication and restrict treatment include: Skin disorders some conditions may be exacerbated by aromatherapy massage. medical clearance may be necessary as the client may be prone to thrombosis. Recent fractures and sprains it is important to seek medical clearance before massaging a sprain or injury. close to tumour sites or lymph glands and areas of skin cancer. bumps and swellings clients should be referred to their GP for a diagnosis. due to the risk of increased vascular bleeding. Recent scar tissue aromatherapy massage should only be applied to scar tissue once it has fully healed and can withstand pressure. and requested by the client. 10 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Advice should always be sought from the consultant/medical team in charge of the client’s care before proceeding to massage a client with cancer. may need to be treated as a localised contra-indication. if advised by the medical team. care should be taken to avoid areas of the body receiving radiation therapy. Some skin conditions.

Careful choice of oils is needed in consultation with the client. Orange. Lavender*. Pregnancy as essential oils will cross the placental barrier they have the potential to affect the foetus. However. Grapefruit. The interaction between essential oils and drugs is an area that remains unexplored and is largely undocumented. a significant interaction between an essential oil and drugs is unlikely unless essential oils have been given in oral doses. Lavender. Migraine some strong or heavy odours may precipitate or exacerbate the effects of a migraine. Mandarin.Safety in Aromatherapy Medication the use of certain essential oils may exacerbate the excretion of drugs by speeding up the detoxification of the liver. 1 per cent) include: Bergamot. * Avoid during first few months of pregnancy 11 . However. Abdominal treatment for women during menstruation the abdominal area may be omitted from the aromatherapy massage during menstruation to avoid discomfort. Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang. Safe guidelines for treating pregnant women include: > avoid treating any women with a poor obstetric history (bleeding. as in traditional medicine. Petitgrain. some clients may find massaging the lower back helpful in offering pain relief and comfort.e. Cypress. others feel that aromatherapy may enhance its actions. Neroli. A lower dilution of oils (1 per cent or less) should be used and care should be taken to avoid all toxic oils (recommended oils for children include Roman Chamomile. Key Note Essential oils that are considered to be safe to use during pregnancy in a lower dilution (i. Geranium. due to there being no yellow card system for recording reactions. Homeopathic preparations there is no conclusive answer as to whether aromatherapy interferes with homeopathic treatment. Some believe the actions and strong odours of certain essential oils (such as Peppermint) may antidote homeopathic treatment. Patchouli. Rose and gentle citrus oils such as Mandarin). miscarriages) without advice from the client’s GP/obstetrician > avoid any form of treatment during the first trimester of the pregnancy > use lower dilutions of essential oils (usually 1 per cent or less) > avoid all oils considered to be emmenagogues and research known safety data to avoid potentially toxic essential oils that may be harmful to mother and foetus. Rose otto*. Lemon. Children and babies require special care and handling. If a client is undergoing homeopathic treatment at the time of an aromatherapy massage then it is sensible for the client to consult their homeopath to ensure that the proposed treatment you intend to offer is in synergy with the homeopathic preparations. Chamomile (Roman and German)*. Frankincense*.

So far. nausea. and lethargy. Acute toxicity may be sub-categorised into the following classifications: > Acute oral toxicity – this literally means ‘poisoning’ when an essential oil is taken orally in a high lethal dose. which is used in aromatherapy to describe the hazardous effects associated with the misuse of essential oils. all serious reported cases of poisoning have arisen after oral ingestion of essential oils. Aromatherapy massage is therefore unlikely to give rise to such a serious risk as poisoning. Acute toxicity This refers to the result of a short-term administration of a substance. which could cause damage to the liver and kidneys (these are the two major organs of the body to filter out unwanted toxic substances from the bloodstream). this may result in death. either by external or internal use. 12 . Toxicity Toxicity is a broad term. Toxic reactions depend on the amount of essential oils being used.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The majority of essential oils when used correctly in aromatherapy treatments represent a negligible risk. Chronic toxicity This is the repeated use of a substance over a period of weeks. Adverse effects of chronic toxicity may include headaches. There are two main categories of toxicity: > acute > chronic. it should be remembered that essential oils are very powerful and concentrated substances. > Acute dermal toxicity – high levels of essential oils are applied and readily absorbed through the skin to cause systemic toxicity. months or years. There are three main types of hazard associated with essential oils: > toxicity > irritation > sensitisation. the method of administration and the physiological status of the client being treated. and usually involves a single high lethal dose. minor skin eruptions. and should therefore be employed with a great deal of care as inappropriate use may cause undesired effects. and is used to describe the adverse effects produced in the skin or elsewhere in the body. However.

A useful reference is Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Professionals by Robert Tisserand and Tony Balacs (ISBN 0-443-05260-3). It can therefore be concluded that any acute toxicological effects are likely to be less pronounced following dermal application than by oral administration. As toxicity is dose-dependent. Common examples of toxic essential oils include: > Aniseed > Arnica > Mugwort > Pennyroyal > Sassafras > Savory > Thuja > Wintergreen > Wormwood. It is therefore essential for aromatherapists always to refer to known safety data of essential oils before using them. Dose-dependency also refers to the size of the individual being treated: special care is required when treating a baby or young child as they are much more likely to develop toxicity with a much smaller amount of essential oil than an adult. Oral administration represents by far the highest risk of toxicity and therefore should NOT be used in aromatherapy unless under the direction of a qualified Medical Practitioner. The amount of essential oil absorbed from oral administration in a 24-hour period is 8–10 times greater than in massage. 13 . Most toxic effects of essential oils are attributable to known chemical compounds.Safety in Aromatherapy Key Note The degree of toxicity in aromatherapy depends not only on the amount of essential oil used but also on its route of administration. It should be noted that external use of essential oils is the only established form of treatment in the UK at this present time. the only risk of toxicity with essential oils is concerned with overuse and overdose.

> Ensure that the area treated is covered and is not exposed to strong sunlight (natural or artificial) for at least eight hours following treatment with phototoxic oils. upon exposure to sunlight (natural or artificial). The most common phototoxic agents in essential oils are furocoumarins (such as bergaptene in bergamot oil).000 of bergaptene (the substance known to cause phototoxicity) is safe to use on the skin.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Phototoxicity This term refers to a photochemical reaction that takes place in the skin by the combination of a phototoxic oil and ultra-violet rays. it may cause blistering or deep weeping burns. to rapid tanning and hyperpigmentation. 14 . Research has shown that bergamot containing less than one part per 1. The term irritation refers to localised inflammation that may affect the skin and mucous membranes. It may result in a mild colour change. can cause adverse skin reactions. one that has part of the chemical composition removed). and results in itchiness as well as varying degrees of inflammation. Bergamot FCF indicates that the phototoxic bergaptene has been removed or reduced to a safe level to use on the skin.e. The risk of phototoxicity can be eliminated or at least reduced to safe levels by adhering to the following safe practice: > Use furocoumarin free bergamot (FCF) (see Key Note below) or distilled citrus oils that are non-phototoxic. Irritation is dose-dependent. Common examples of essential oils that may present a risk of phototoxicity include: > Bergamot (expressed – a method of production for citrus oils in which oil is expressed from the rind of the fruit) > Lemon (expressed) > Bitter Orange (expressed) > Lime (expressed) > Grapefruit (expressed). > Use sunscreen to reduce the potential effect of phototoxicity. and is caused when a substance such as an essential oil reacts with the mast cells of the skin and releases histamine. Key Note Bergamot is an example of a fractionated essential oil (i. which. Irritation This is the most common type of reaction of the skin to essential oils. and so reaction is directly proportional to the amount used in treatment. Depending on the severity of the photochemical reaction.

Tarragon (Russian) and Camphor (yellow). Indian). As the mucous membranes are thinner and much more fragile than the skin. Basil (low estragole). vagina or mouth. due to the potential high risk of irritation to the mucous membrane of the urino-genital and alimentary tract organs. Ho Leaf (camphor/safrole CT). Reactions are idiosyncratic (they only affect a small majority of people). similar to the reaction of the skin to urticaria. Care must be taken with the amount of essential oils used for inhalations (due to the risk of irritating the respiratory tract). Essential oils should be kept well away from the eyes. Essential oils should never be used via the rectum. Basil (high estragole). For sensitisation to occur. the allergen (i. Essential oils that Tisserand and Balacs advise should be avoided altogether in aromatherapy due to the carcinogenic potential include Ravensara anisata. they are in danger of becoming irritated. Calamus (Indian). Nutmeg (i. Tarragon (French). It is interesting to note that there appears to be a wide tolerance variation between individuals. Sassafras. Carcinogenic substances Little is known about the risk of dermally applied potentially carcinogenic substances found in essential oils. Sensitisation This is an allergic reaction to an essential oil.e. It will cause an inflammatory reaction.e. brought about 15 . an essential oil) must penetrate the skin and will involve an immune response by the release of histamine. such as safrole and estragole. and usually takes the form of a rash. Some essential oils that contain small components of estragole and safrole are considered safe for use in aromatherapy at the maximum external concentration (use 1–2 per cent) but which should not be taken in oral dosages include: Fennel. Camphor (brown). Note: Some more common essential oils may occasionally cause irritation if used undiluted on the skin.Safety in Aromatherapy Key Note The risk of irritation is most acute when essential oils are used undiluted or are used in high concentration. Cinnamon Leaf and Star Anise. Common examples of essential oils representing a risk of irritation include: > Cinnamon Leaf > Clove Bud > Clove Stem > Clove Leaf > Red Thyme > Wild Thyme.

and so it is not dependent on concentration. due to hormonal influences at this time. it is wise to perform a patch test for both irritation and sensitisation of a potentially hazardous oil. Degradation of essential oils can lead to increased hazards. Key Note When dealing with clients with sensitive skin or skin with intolerances. Sensitisation is not dose-dependent. the effects on the skin will be slight if at all. Upon first exposure to the substance.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition by the cells of the immune system (T-lymphocytes) becoming sensitised. apply a couple of drops of the essential oil to the inside of a plaster. the oxidation of the chemical compound terpenes makes the essential oils more likely to cause skin sensitisation. Prior to working on areas such as the face and neck where cosmetics have been used. due to the risk of cross-sensitisation occurring on areas that are building up sensitivity to cosmetics. skin sensitivity generally increases just before a menstrual period and at ovulation. 16 . itching and swelling. but on repeated application of the same substance. Intolerance may build up on repeated contact with a sensitising oil. or after one application. place on the inside of the forearm and leave unwashed for 24 hours. For instance. In order to test for irritation. For female clients. Patch testing Patch testing is an effective way of predicting allergic reaction to essential oils. the immune system will produce a reaction similar to dermal inflammation and the skin may appear blotchy and irritated. A positive result (which may indicate irritation) may result in erythema. Common examples of essential oils that may cause sensitisation include: > Cinnamon (bark. it is advisable to ensure that all preparations have been removed before applying essential oils. Repeat the test a second time if you wish to test for sensitisation. leaf and stem) > Ginger > Lemon > Lemongrass > Lime > Melissa > Bitter Orange > Peppermint > Teatree > Thyme.

nose. 17 . > If your client suffers with sensitive skin or allergies. face and neck). along with any medication they may be taking. > Take care when handling essential oil bottles to ensure that your skin does not come into contact with the undiluted oil. > Never take essential oils by mouth. and so that you avoid transferring it from your hands to more sensitive parts (e. > In between clients. > Keep essential oils away from naked flames. > Avoid prolonged use of the same essential oil. was formed in 1992 by responsible essential oils suppliers. > Always use in sensible proportions. > If your client presents a medical condition. air the treatment room and allow yourself a break of at least five minutes. Safe Handling and Storage Due to the fact that essential oils are concentrated substances and are toxic if misused. > Avoid using oils if your skin is cracked and sore.Safety in Aromatherapy Safety Precautions When Using Essential Oils When using essential oils. rectum or vagina. unless under medical instructions. effective treatment with no adverse effects to either the client or to the therapist: > Always work in a well-ventilated area. as they are highly flammable. An independent body. > Always keep a full and accurate record of the essential oils used on a client and their dilution.g. > Always label all blends. it is advisable to carry out a simple skin test before using an essential oil for the first time. 65 ЊF/18 ЊC). to remove as much of the oil as possible. with lids secured tightly to prevent evaporation. > Store all essential oils out of the reach of children. great care must be taken when storing and handling them: > Store in dark glass bottles in normal to cool temperatures (approx. the Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC). preferably in a separate room. > Never use an essential oil with which you are not familiar. > Never apply undiluted oils to the skin. > Wash hands thoroughly in between clients. always refer them to their GP before treating. All essential oils sold for professional and home use should carry safety precautions in their labelling. > Keep essential oils away from the eyes and other sensitive parts of the face. > Keep and dispense essential oils away from the treatment area. > Always undertake a detailed consultation to ascertain a client’s physical and psychological condition. the following safety precautions should be followed to ensure a safe.

the current regulatory position from the relevant competent authorities. > offers a service to its members and potential suppliers of aromatherapy products to review labels and publicity material prior to printing to ensure they comply with the complexities of the law. > establishes guidelines for safety. the following warnings and information must be printed on the consumer product label: > Clear instructions for use. so that sound information is provided to the public for their protection. and interpretation and clarification of. add 5 drops of essential oil to 10 ml of carrier or 6 drops in a bath. > works proactively and effectively to ensure the sector is represented on all relevant statutory and nonstatutory bodies. > co-ordinates the views of the industry and represents them to the appropriate authority. with offers either to write aromatherapy articles or to check journalists’ articles for accuracy. > publishes a General Information Booklet and a list of current members. > works closely with the aromatherapy profession through the Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC) and other organisations: – to promote training and education. Responsible marketing – warnings and information All promotional material should give clear guidelines as to how essential oils are to be used. To comply with the consumer safety requirement. giving recommended dilutions where necessary. > obtains policy statements on. > has a policy for the random testing of its members’ oils. 18 . > gives guidelines as to what is permissible on the labels and in promotional material for aromatherapy products and publishes a leaflet entitled ‘Responsible Marketing & The Medicines Control Agency’. – to ensure the needs of the profession are appropriately served by the aromatherapy trade. labelling and packaging for the aromatherapy trade. It is for this reason that all members are required to state clearly on the labels of their products ‘For external use only’ or ‘Do not take internally’. e. > promotes genuine high standards of quality in essential oils within the industry by education and public relations. > liaises with the media on a regular basis to ensure good public relations. > Do not take internally or apply undiluted to the skin. – to promote the responsible use of aromatherapy products. > supplies sound information and advice to members and the public.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The ATC: > represents the aromatherapy essential oil industry in the UK.g. > acts as a focal point for public and media enquiries on the sector. > Keep away from children and eyes. thereby influencing policy decisions at all levels of regulation and legislation. – to advise on regulatory issues relating to the aromatherapy trade. The Code of Practice recommended by the ATC includes the following: The ATC has a policy for the non-ingestion of essential oils and for the general public only to use essential oils externally unless advised otherwise by a qualified aromatherapist.

bath oils. e.g. 19 . > Botanical and common name of the plant. A guide to these regulations is available free of charge from your local Trading Standards Office. The Medicines Act 1968 states that no medicinal claims can be made on labels.gov. > Company address or post code.uk/mca/ourwork/licensingmeds/herbalmeds/herbalmeds. administered or sold by aromatherapists in the course of their business. by expression from a single botanical species. nothing further should be added. > Trading Standards deal with those who sell adulterated essential oils or incorrectly label their products. are subject to the General Product Safety Regulations 1994. i. General Products. An aromatherapy oil is a blend of undefined percentages consisting of diluents (usually vegetable oils) and essential oils (and sometimes with absolutes) and is suitable for use without further dilution.open. etc.e.g. The Medicines Act Leaflet (MAL.Safety in Aromatherapy > The quantity supplied. Essential oils are extracted by distillation or. sold to the public. in the case of citrus oils. Regulation of essential oils and aromatherapy products In order to comply with consumer legislation.. No medicinal claims may be made since essential oils are not licensed products.8) gives guidance on their regulation and can be accessed through the Medicines Control Agency’s (MCA) website at www. 10 ml. a copy of which is also available from Trading Standards. ready-blended aromatherapy products using essential oils/carrier oils. essential oils sold to the public. Essential oils are well regulated by legislation. 2 < 3 < Key Note There is often confusion between the terms ‘essential oil’ and ‘aromatherapy oil’. There are therefore legal controls to protect the consumer: > The MCA deals with manufacturers who make medicinal claims without an appropriate marketing authorisation (medicines’ licence). are subject to the Cosmetic Product (Safety) Regulations 1996. and the diverse end products of the aromatherapy industry (cosmetics and pre-blended oils) fall under different regulatory regimes.htm Cosmetics. > Batch code number. Once the primary process of distillation or expression has been completed. medicinal products) exempt from licensing when mixed. e. From the safety control viewpoint. promotional material or advertised regarding products that have not been licensed. > The company name. essential oil suppliers have a duty to carry out responsible marketing. they fall into three potential categories: 1 < Herbal remedies (that is.

Photochemical reaction that takes place in skin by combination of phototoxic oil and ultra-violet rays. High levels of essential oils are applied to skin. This means that no aromatherapy product can make remedial claims if it relates to a specific disease or adverse condition. releasing histamine. promotional material or advertisements regarding products that have not been licensed. essential oils suppliers have a duty to carry out responsible marketing. Is not dose-dependent. Hazard Description Essential oil taken orally in a high lethal dose. Reaction may be slight on first exposure to allergen but on repeated exposure skin may appear blotchy and irritated. Task Complete the following table to identify the type of hazard associated with essential oils. can be fatal. Affects skin and mucous membrane and is dose-dependent. involves an immune response by releasing histamine and causes the T-lymphocytes to become sensitised. affects liver and kidneys. 8 Table 2: Hazards associated with essential oils 8 20 . and cause systemic toxicity.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note In order to comply with consumer legislation. The Medicines Act 1968 clearly states that no medicinal claims can be made on labels. caused by essential oil reacting with the mast cells of skin. Localised inflammation of skin. Allergic reaction to an essential oil.

State five conditions that may contra-indicate aromatherapy treatment. Why is safety an important factor when using essential oils? 2.Safety in Aromatherapy Self-assessment Questions 1. 21 . State ten safety precautions to be taken into account when practising aromatherapy. 3. stating the action required in each case.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 4. State five safety factors to be taken into account when storing essential oils. 6. List five safety factors that should be on the label of essential oil bottles sold for professional and home use. 5. State five essential oils that are unsafe to use in aromatherapy. 22 .

Essential oils play an important role in the plant. as they are responsible for their fragrance and are the most concentrated part of its vital force or energy. the leaves. roots. and may be extracted from various parts of the plant matter. bark. Despite being used extensively in the food industry as flavourings and in the cosmetic industry in perfumes. when used in aromatherapy they have the ability to penetrate the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. which influence its aroma. Essential oils are usually present in minute quantities in comparison to the mass of the whole plant. gums and blossom. for example. A typical essential oil consists of over 100 organic chemical compounds. and may exist in the plant material in concentrations ranging from 0. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > the nature and origins of essential oils > methods of extracting essential oils > factors to consider when storing essential oils > common forms of adulteration > factors to consider when purchasing essential oils > vocabulary associated with an essential oil. a highly concentrated volatile substance obtained from various parts of the aromatic plant. fruit. Utmost care must therefore be taken in their application to the body. therapeutic effects and in certain cases its potential hazards (such as irritation. sensitisation or toxicity). grass. wood. 23 . > A competent aromatherapist must know the nature and effects of essential oils in order to understand the physical and psychological effects of aromatherapy treatments. flowers.01 to 10 per cent. Essential oils are present in the plant in special cells.The Extraction of an Essential Oil CHAPTER 3 The most important ingredient in aromatherapy is the essential oil.

Therefore essential oils are kept in cool conditions. Storage Factors Associated with Essential Oils > Dark bottles are used to reduce the amount of light access to essential oils. fats. to avoid oxidation and degradation. Good internal droppers will have a groove on one side. blue chamomile). If buying essential oils in larger quantities than 15 ml. oils and waxes. although some are solid at room temperature (e. > Airtight bottles are used to reduce the access of air to the oils. It is also important to ensure that the ‘head space’ above the oil is not too great. it is advisable to store essential oils in a dark. > Liquid most are liquid.g. which may either leach out of the plastic into the oils.g. airtight glass container in cold conditions. With the groove uppermost the oil will come out of the bottle with a slow drip. it is advisable to decant the oil into several smaller dark glass bottles to reduce the headspace above the oil’s surface to help prevent oxidation. > Glass containers are used because they do not react chemically (unlike plastic. in order to maintain their optimum therapeutic activity. Key Note It is helpful if droppers supplied in essential oil bottles are of different sizes according to the viscosity of the oil concerned. with the groove downwards the oil will come out as a fast drip. rose). or out of the oils into the plastic container). > Highly aromatic the individual aroma of the essential oil becomes more defined after being extracted from the plant. 24 . > Mainly colourless or pale yellow although some are more obviously coloured (e. as their shelf life is greatly enhanced. The rate of reactions is doubled for over 10 ЊC rise in temperature. > Cool conditions are necessary to reduce the enzymatically controlled chemical reactions that take place with the ‘living’ essential oils. > Insoluble in water they will only dissolve in alcohols. an essential oil can become 100 times more concentrated. to prevent further oxidative reactions taking place and to prevent the escape of more volatile components. Key Note Owing to their sensitivity. > Highly volatile they evaporate quickly on contact with the air.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The nature of essential oils is therefore complex as they exhibit the following various characteristics: > Highly concentrated when extracted from the raw material.

The water distillate left after extraction of the essential oil is a valuable by-product. > It is then a relatively simple process to separate the essential oil from the water. in order that an oil with the highest grade of quality may be produced. > The steam and the essential oil vapour then pass out from the top of the still and along a glass tube. Plant material. they are subject to several processes and can vary according to: > where they are grown > the climate > the altitude > the soil > the agricultural methods > the time of harvesting. Steam distillation This is the oldest and most established method of extracting the essential oil from the plant. which is water-cooled. and the oil quickly evaporates.The Extraction of an Essential Oil Methods of Extraction As essential oils are extracts from plants. and leaves needs very little preparation prior to being distilled. such as leaves and flowers. It is therefore very important that the starting material used to produce the essential oil represents the natural biochemistry of the plant. Due to their differences in distribution there are several methods of producing essential oils: > steam distillation > solvent extraction > expression > enfleurage > super-critical carbon dioxide extraction > phytonic process. except that they need to be cut up to allow the cell walls of the plant to rupture and the volatile oil to escape. and the heat causes the globules of essential oil to burst open. in order to condense the water back into a liquid. into a large stainless steel container called a still. and is used as a flower water or hydrolat. > Steam is then passed under pressure through the plant material. since the two do not mix. such as flowers. 25 . > The process involves placing the prepared plant material.

which is a solid or semi-solid natural product. lowering the cost. and can alter the quality of the original plant material. exudation from a tree). which is used to extract the odoriferous part of the material. Solvent extraction This process involves placing the plant material in a vessel and covering it with a volatile solvent such as petroleum ether. but some of the bouquet can be lost with this method.g. favoured for modern mass production. resulting in a dark coloured paste called a concrete (this is a combination of wax and essential oil) or it may be a resin. and it is these tiny molecules that constitute the essential oil. pure water and fresh materials during the distillation process can therefore ensure the production of the best quality and ‘environmentally friendly’ essential oil. These methods can result in a better quality oil as the larger molecules can be drawn out of the plant material. Using low pressure steam and heat. 26 . can produce essential oils more efficiently. High temperature methods. Variations of steam distillation Variations of steam distillation use low heat and take a long period to distil a batch of oil. The heat and water used in the distillation process are potentially harmful to the fragile chemical constituents of the essential oil. benzene or hexane. which may be prepared or natural (e. > The mixture is slowly heated and the solution is filtered off. only the very small molecules can evaporate.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Figure 1: Steam distillation of essential oils 8 Key Note During the distillation process.

> The oil from the citrus fruit lies in little sacs under the surface of the rind and simply needs to be pressed out. where the rind was literally squeezed by hand until the oil glands in the rind burst.The Extraction of an Essential Oil > The concrete then undergoes a second process. which may cause adverse skin reactions. when it is agitated with alcohol and chilled in order to recover most of the aromatic liquid and remove the plant waxes. > Expression is now carried out by machinery in a process known as scarification. Expression This process is used solely for the citrus family and therefore may be used for what may more accurately be called essences. 27 . > The process of expression used to be carried out by hand. There is an element of controversy regarding the suitability of the use of absolutes in aromatherapy. This was then collected in a sponge and squeezed into a container once the sponge was saturated. which is fragrance/perfume material obtained from this process. as they contain solvent residues. > The alcohol is then evaporated leaving a high quality flower oil or absolute. 8 Figure 2: Solvent extraction8 Key Note Solvent extraction is used extensively in the perfumery industry and produces some of the finest flower fragrances. and is usually produced in a factory that produces fruit juice in order to maximise the profit from the whole fruit.

leaving only the oil. The essential oils produced by this method are reputed to be of exceptional quality and to be more like the essential oil from the plant in terms of their quality and stability. and the alcohol evaporates. the aroma and the delicate chemical structure of the essence extracted is almost identical to that contained within the rind of the fruit. It is a very long labour-intensive process. Fewer than 10 per cent of essential oils are produced by this method and enfleurage has been largely replaced by solvent extraction. Super-critical carbon dioxide extraction This is a relatively new method of extracting essential oils and uses compressed carbon dioxide at very high pressure to extract the essential oil from the plant material. This ensures that the highly fragile and heat sensitive constituents of the essential oil are neither lost nor altered due to their extraction process. after which fresh petals are laid over the fat. The oils produced by this method are known as ‘phytol’ oils. > Freshly picked petals are then sprinkled over the fat and the glass sheet frames are stacked in tiers. The phytonic process This is a newly developed method of extracting essential oils from the plant. The remaining fat is used commercially to make soap. > The pommade is then diluted in alcohol to obtain the extracts. > The process involves using wooden glass rectangular frames and spreading a thin layer of purified fat onto the glass. but also extremely expensive to use. Enfleurage This is the traditional method used to extract the finest quality essences from delicate flowers such as rose and jasmine. which uses environmentally friendly solvents that have the ability to capture the aromatic oils of the plants at or below room temperature. and hence is virtually obsolete now. > The faded petals are removed after 24 hours. The disadvantage with using this method is that the equipment used is not only massive. The essence from the flower is then absorbed into the fat. > The process is repeated until the fat is saturated with enough essence from the flower – at this stage it is known as a pommade. which continue to generate oil after harvesting. 28 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note As no heat is used in the process of expression.

Key Note Essential oils have a highly complex chemistry. rendering it of inferior quality. essential oils are designed for vibrational healing and therefore it cannot be stressed highly enough that only the purest oils in their natural state will give the desired therapeutic effects. linalool is commonly added to Clary Sage. for example. for example. For example. but in aromatherapy. a main chemical constituent of essential oils such as terpenes can be removed. resulting in a fabricated oil. the fewer therapeutic effects it will have. these oils are known as fractionated oils. Neroli and Rosewood. > A quantity of the main chemical constituent may be added to the essential oil to ‘stretch’ it. Synthetic substances or reconstructed oils are in general very successful for perfumery and may also have specific uses in flavourings and pharmaceuticals. but also of provoking potentially negative reactions from their clients. An adulterant is an impurity accidentally or deliberately introduced into a product. > An essential oil from a cheaper plant may be added. Adulterated oils can have undesired effects such as causing skin irritation and sensitisation. Factors to Consider When Purchasing Essential Oils It is imperative to buy essential oils from a reputable supplier. which makes it impossible to reproduce them synthetically. Remember that the greater the interference with the chemical constituents of the essential oil. which is useful for the perfume industry. Lemon to Bergamot or Citronella to Melissa. Adulterations may take one of several forms: > A very small quantity of the essential oils may be diluted in a spirit base and therefore is ‘let down’. Factors to consider when making your choice include: 29 . Lavender. due to the widespread popularity of essential oils.The Extraction of an Essential Oil Adulteration of Essential Oils Unfortunately. If an aromatherapist buys and uses sub-standard or adulterated products. there is an increased practice of adulteration. > Some of the chemical constituents may be removed. they run the risk of not only minimising the efficacy of their treatment. > Synthetic aromatic substances may be added.

It is often referred to as ‘chemical fingerprinting’ and is carried out on behalf of some essential oil companies in laboratories by specialist chemists. minimal processing and minimal use of additives and processing aids. without the use of chemical fertilisers and poisonous sprays). trace contaminants in the plant such as biocides. The production of organic essential oils The principles of organic agriculture involve the minimal use of non-renewable resources. Purity A pure essential oil can be defined as one that has been produced from a botanical source and has not been modified in any way that alters its unique qualities. If you are in doubt about the quality of an oil. Key Note Reputable professional suppliers will take steps to ensure that the essential oils they produce are grown by organic means (i. if it meets the stringent laboratory tests. and will reflect the chemical profile of the essential oil. In the UK.e. the type of soil used and the country of origin will all play a part in the final determination of quality. herbicides or pesticides that have been used in its production. Gas Liquid Chromatography will also highlight any undesirable substances. it is advisable to ask suppliers for information concerning the origins of the oil and methods used to test for purity. which is an accurate method of determining an oil’s composition. respect for animal welfare. Each essential oil tested is given a certification of conformity and a batch number to confirm its purity. Key Note A supplier or importer of essential oils may use a method of testing for purity called Gas Liquid Chromatography. minimisation of pollution and damage to the environment. for example. farmers must join a recognised organic association and the UK Soil Association is the most well 30 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Quality The plant itself. its harvest method. Organic producers meeting the required standards of production are awarded certificates by the Soil Association in Britain.

the method of processing. their methods should be certified as organic. Soil Association Certification traces the name of the grower in the country of origin. they are not responsive to nitrogenous fertiliser and require very few crop inputs. the processing method must also be certified as organic. In other words. importers and retailers. according to UKROFS. The method of organic agriculture in that country must be equivalent to the legislation described by the EU Regulation 2092/92. processors. This is implemented in the UK by the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards (UKROFS). Today we call these chemicals ‘essential oils’ and. they may not need fungicides or insecticides. they are the pesticide. Crop residues should be appropriately recycled and organic oils kept separate from any produced non-organically. For example. A checklist for buyers of organic essential oils In reality. seeds. The organic certification bodies then inspect and certify organic producers. The purchaser should look for organic certification. for essential oil crops. These details should be available to the purchaser. This means that. roots etc. Generally speaking. As a result. Organic farming and food processing are regulated by EU law. even though essential oil crops are non-food. they should not be used at all for essential oil crops particularly if they are volatile. and the method of storage. Organic essential oil crops In the UK. If the grower (farmer) undertakes the essential oil extraction. Also. the botanical name of the crop species/variety. data is now available that shows levels of organochlorine pesticides in various essential oils. the date of harvest. This information should be available to the purchaser (within the parameters of commercial confidentiality). 1 < 2 < 3 < 4 < 5 < The grower (farmer) of the essential oil crop must be certified as organic by a recognised authority in the country of production. farmers do not use pesticides if there are no pests! Organic farmers should not use any pesticides on essential oil crops. If a pesticide is needed it must be permitted (by the Organic Certification authority) and the name of the product and date of application recorded.The Extraction of an Essential Oil known. essential oils (called herbal oils by the EU) do not come under the EU Regulation 2092/92. Organic farming also covers other aspects of agricultural knowledge and expertise. when grown as crops. farmers must comply with all of the above regulations. in reality. temperate climate essential oil plants are considered to be wild plants and this means that they have not been bred and selected for cultivation. flowers. which controls and monitors the organic certification bodies. The point here is that although some pesticides are permitted for food crops. This means that anyone can legally call any essential oil ‘organic’. 31 6 < . However. the conversion period and permitted crop inputs should be the same. the grower should select named botanical species for cultivation. It has been difficult to detect pesticide residues in essential oils. The Organic Certification procedure should detail any crop inputs. the date of processing. If a third party undertakes the crop processing. which requires that any food labelled as organic must have been produced and processed according to the standards laid down in the EU Organic Regulation No 2092/92. During evolution plants had to defend themselves from predators and pests and one method was to incorporate in-built chemical warfare in the leaves.

essential oils have a rather convoluted journey before reaching you. Mill House Certified Organic Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Farm and Research Centre. The Soil Association only recognises non-UK certification bodies if they meet the same (equivalent) standards. Odour This will depend on the origin of the oil. Price is not. Citrus oils have a relatively short life and under good storage conditions will remain unchanged for up to a year. Some do not and careful scrutiny is needed. some essential oils such as patchouli actually improve with age. an indication of purity or quality. For those requiring essential oils for their medicinal properties. wild collections should certainly be avoided. therefore a best before date is very useful in practice.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition It is possible for an essential oil supplier to register their company with a recognised organic authority.g. its method of production and other factors concerning the oil such as storage. temperature. 86 Colston Street. Further information Soil Association. Merseyside L31 4HS. Tel 0117 929 0661 Dr Jane Collins. whereas eucalyptus gives a high yield and is relatively cheap. Some countries do produce genuine certified organic essential oils. Lydiate. which makes the essential oil fairly expensive. however. to assess its life expectancy to an aromatherapist. Some certified organic essential oils may be a little more expensive due to the increased costs to farmers of removing weeds from the crops (usually by hand). It is also worth considering that once. Key Note As most essential oils are affected by age. drcollins@madasafish. light. the price of an essential oil reflects the yield of oil in the plant along with its production costs. transport method. Bristol BS1 5BB. produced. quality and degree of nasal perception. heat and oxidation. it is recommended that they are used within two years of first opening to avoid degradation. Despite this. 32 . This still means that all of the above information should be available. Certain weeds may act as toxic botanicals if extracted with the essential oil crop (e. Best before date This is important as essential oils are affected by age. purity. Tel/Fax 0151 526 0139. stinking mayweed. Eager Lane.com Price In general. It is useful to know either the production date or its expiry date. mugwort) and special care and knowledge is needed. Rose petals produce very little oil. age. and can remain unchanged for many years.

including Gas Liquid Chromatography. which is useful to note when you want a repeat order of the same oil. Although purity is high on the list of priorities when purchasing essential oils. which all exhibit different characteristics. which guarantee purity. Safety Choose essential oils bottles with child resistant closures. A useful checklist when considering choosing an essential oil supplier is: 1 < 2 < 3 < 4 < 5 < 6 < Do they provide comprehensive literature of their oil including botanical names. Key Note The best advice is to purchase your essential oils from a reputable professional supplier who is prepared to give you as much information as possible regarding the nature of the oils and their origins. it is important to know the botanical or Latin names of the plant to ensure their authenticity and original character and composition. Good suppliers’ price lists will indicate the part or parts of the plant used to produce the oil along with its country of origin. it cannot assess its exact chemistry as the precise chemical constituents of essential oils are still largely unknown. quality or price. are they happy to answer your questions? How much information is included regarding quality testing? Is there independent analysis of their oils? Are the essential oils clearly and correctly labelled. Botanical name of plant As there are many species or variations of plants.The Extraction of an Essential Oil Origin The part of the plant used and the country of production may reflect differences in essential oils such as composition. etc? Does your contact with them reflect they are knowledgeable about the oils. it should be noted that there are no tests. with the recommended safety guidelines? How safety conscious are they? How efficient is their service? Current EC Regulations are moving towards greater definition and more detailed information regarding the nature of essential oils in order that the consumer may expect to get: 33 . Remember that the origin of the plant determines its character and chemical composition. sources. Most professional suppliers list a batch number on the essential oil bottle. Whilst Gas Chromatography will highlight any chemical imbalances in the oil that could not be possible in the natural essential oil.

Define an essential oil. 8 Table 3: Terms used to describe essential oils 8 Self-assessment Questions 1. exudations from trees). a combination of wax and essential oil.g. 34 . may be prepared or natural (e. Term Description Aromatic material (viscous or semi-solid perfume material) extracted from plants using solvent extraction. Solid or semi-solid dark-coloured paste. Volatile and aromatic liquid obtained by distillation or expression. Task Complete the following table to identify the following terms used in connection with essential oils. Solid or semi-solid natural product.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > an essential oil or aromatic from a named botanical source and from a given origin > an oil that has been tested and analysed by experts who can determine its quality. A by-product of steam distillation.

Why should essential oils never be used in their undiluted form? 4. Give a brief outline of the following methods of extracting essential oils: i) steam distillation 35 . 3.The Extraction of an Essential Oil 2. State five characteristics of an essential oil.

State five important factors to consider when purchasing essential oils.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition ii) solvent extraction 5. State three common forms of adulteration of essential oils. 6. 36 .

37 . help to fight disease. you will begin to realise that each oil may be used to treat a variety of conditions. As you begin to study the many therapeutic effects of essential oils. as they work on several levels. It is not therefore unreasonable or illogical to expect those same elements to have a variety of functions on the human body. however. Orthodox drugs are often very specific and have a single active principle. These varied functions found within the oil are elements that. > A competent aromatherapist needs to know the therapeutic effect attributed to essential oils.The Essential Oils CHAPTER 4 Essential oils have many chemical components that reflect the life force of the plant. method of production and therapeutic properties of 40 common essential oils. are more holistic. as well as having a direct action upon specific bacteria and viruses. and that most conditions will respond positively to a number of oils. in the plant form. and they possess a variety of functions in the plant from which they are derived. stimulate growth and reproduction. to understand their effects on the body. This is because of the complex chemistry of an essential oil. the oils also act by stimulating and reinforcing the body’s own defence mechanism. which is either isolated from the plant or synthetically constructed in a laboratory. Essential oils. The chemical constituents of an essential oil are often closely related in their molecular structure to those of human cells and tissues and hormones: therefore. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > the origin. Essential oils are diverse – there is a large spread of actions with many oils and a degree of overlap in the choice of oil for a particular condition.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The Essential Oils Basil (Sweet) A very effective oil. Clary Sage. Key Word Clearing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Ocimum basilicum flowering top and leaves of the herb steam distillation light. clear. Lavender. Marjoram. Neroli. Melissa. Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > adrenal cortex stimulant > analgesic > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > carminative > cephalic > digestive > emmenagogue > expectorant > febrifuge > nervine > stomachic > tonic 38 . Black Pepper. Geranium. sweet and slightly spicy high top Bergamot. well known for its cephalic property and for its effects on the digestive and respiratory systems.

Summary Safety data > Avoid during pregnancy > May cause sensitisation and irritation > There have been recent concerns over the possible carcinogenic effects of methyl chavicol contained in the exotic Basil chemotype. Lavender. Benzoin Benzoin is a very useful oil for inflammatory skin conditions due to its soothing properties. Myrrh. Petitgrain. menstrual pain > Immune system coughs. nausea > Endocrine system irregular periods. hysteria. migraine. flu > Musculo-skeletal systems muscular aches and pains > Nervous system anxiety. Lemon. headaches. melancholia and vulnerability. depression. and for any condition in which fluid needs to be expelled from the body. colds. gastric spasms. nervous tension > Respiratory system asthma. bronchitis > Skin care congested skins and acne Psychological profile: Basil is useful for confusion. Key Word Soothing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Styrax benzoin gum from the trunk of the tree solvent extraction sweet vanilla-like high base Bergamot. Orange.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Digestive system dyspepsia. Frankincense. Cypress. lack of assertiveness. therefore it is advisable to use the French Basil chemotype therapeutically See Photo 1 on page 91. Rose and Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) 39 . hiccups. A very valuable oil for general stress relief and nervous tension. Juniper. lack of self-worth.

depression. See Photo 2 on page 91. Key Word Uplifting 40 . feelings of loss. emotional exhaustion. loneliness and worry. flatulence > Immune system coughs. grief. Bergamot Bergamot is a very uplifting oil to both mind and body and is an invaluable choice for depression and stress-related conditions. > diuretic > sedative > tonic (heart) > vulnerary Summary Safety data Although Benzoin is categorised as non-toxic and non-irritant. it may cause sensitisation in some individuals. nervous tension > Respiratory system asthma. bronchitis > Skin care cracked or chapped skin > Urinary cystitis Psychological profile: Benzoin is useful for nervous anxiety.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > astringent > carminative Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Digestive system indigestion. sore throats > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and pains > Nervous system nervous exhaustion.

oily and congested skins > Urinary infections such as cystitis. catarrh. flatulence. lack of courage. Geranium. indigestion > Immune system colds > Nervous system anxiety.The Essential Oils Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Citrus bergamia peel of a small orange-like fruit cold expression light. Neroli. lack of confidence. spicy lemon/orange aroma with slight floral overtones. Lemon. anxiety. Rose and Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antidepressant > antiseptic (pulmonary and genito-urinary) > antispasmodic > antiviral > astringent > carminative > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Digestive system dyspepsia. Marjoram. thrush Psychological profile: Bergamot is useful for anger. Palmarosa. depression and stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma. very refreshing and uplifting medium top the Chamomiles. Eucalyptus. negativity and worry. Lavender. despair. grief. depression. > laxative > parasiticidal > rubefacient > stomachic > stimulant > tonic > vulnerary 41 . Patchouli. delicate. Jasmine. Cypress. coughs > Skin care acne. bronchitis. nervous tension. colic.

Care needs to be taken therefore to avoid contact with strong ultra-violet light or sunlight after using this oil. loss of appetite. See Photo 3 on page 91. Rosemary. Black Pepper Black Pepper is very stimulating to mind and body and is particularly effective on the muscular and digestive systems. Grapefruit. joint pain and stiffness > febrifuge > laxative > rubefacient > stimulant > stomachic > tonic > Musculo-skeletal system 42 . constipation. a bergapten-free (FCF) variety may be used. Lavender. Cypress. diarrhoea. Key Word Stimulating Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Piper nigrum dried and crushed black peppercorns steam distillation spicy. flu. hot and very sharp high middle Bergamot. Geranium. Frankincense. poor muscle tone.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Summary Safety data Due to the chemical constituents furocouramins (notably bergapten) Bergamot will increase photosensitivity of the skin. Alternatively. anaemia colic. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antimicrobial > antiseptic > antispasmodic > carminative > detoxicant > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system > Digestive system > Immune system poor circulation. Lemon. Palmarosa. viral infections muscular aches and pains. nausea colds. Sandalwood.

Lavender. constipation. Geranium. headaches. Key Word Releasing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Melaleuca leucadendron leaves and twigs of tree steam distillation sweet and herbaceous: penetrating high top Bergamot. melancholy and mental fatigue. Summary Safety data Black Pepper should be used in low concentration as it may cause skin irritation. period pains neuralgia. laryngitis and bronchitis muscular aches and pains. Rosewood. Rose. joint pain and stiffness 43 > decongestant > expectorant > insectidical > stimulant > Immune system colds. Thyme Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic Therapeutic uses > Digestive system colic. See Photo 4 on page 91. toothache pharyngitis.The Essential Oils Psychological profile: Black Pepper is useful for indifference. gastric spasms > Endocrine system > Nervous system menopausal problems. Cajeput Cajeput is a very effective expectorant and is helpful for respiratory problems. muscles and joints in helping to ease muscular pains and stiffness. flu > Respiratory system > Musculo-skeletal system . It is equally effective for circulation. lethargy.

Summary Safety Data A powerful oil that has been reported to cause skin irritation. Rose Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antidepressant > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > bactericidal > carminative > emmenagogue > hepatic > hypnotic > nervine > sedative (nerve) > stimulates leucocytosis (production of white blood cells) > stomachic > tonic > vulnerary 44 . Neroli. See Photo 5 on page 92. Key Word Calming Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Anthemis nobilis flower heads of herb steam distillation a strong apple-like aroma. Geranium. Jasmine. particularly those associated with the skin. digestive and nervous systems. as well as on many physical conditions. Lavender. Chamomile (Roman) Best known for its soothing and calming effects on the emotions. It is also helpful for apathy. therefore it should be used in small proportions with care. Clary Sage. cynicism and those with a tendency to procrastination. sweet and warm high middle Bergamot.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Psychological profile: Cajeput is useful for helping to clear ‘mental fog’ and is effective when feeling mentally sluggish.

Clary Sage. nervous tension and stress-related problems > Skin care allergies. dyspepsia. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) 45 . Jasmine. Marjoram. melancholy. headache. overactive mind. indigestion.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Digestive system colic. Lavender. nervous tension. See Photo 6 on page 92. migraine. Melissa. weepiness and excessive worry. fear. particularly on allergies and inflammatory skin conditions. inflammatory skin conditions > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Roman Chamomile is useful for anger. Key Word Soothing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Matricaria chamomilia flower heads of herb distillation strong. anxiety. hysteria. Use in low concentrations as it may cause dermal irritation/sensitisation. Bergamot. sensitivity. irritability. sweetish. warm and herbaceous very high middle Benzoin. dry and sensitive skins. Geranium. nausea > Endocrine system menstrual and menopausal problems > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and dull pain > Nervous system depression. insomnia. Rose. Chamomile (German/Blue) Blue Chamomile is a very effective oil in skin care. Summary Safety data It is advisable to avoid using Roman Chamomile in the early stages of pregnancy. Patchouli.

It is generally quite soothing and calming on the nerves. Cypress. Chamomile (Moroccan) Moroccan Chamomile differs in its chemical and olfactory makeup from Roman and Blue Chamomiles and therefore does not share their extensive properties. Tangerine Energetic Profile Towards the yin (cool) 46 . Mandarin. Key Word Soothing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Ormenis multicaulis flowering tops of plant steam distillation sweet herbaceous aroma with a rich balsamic undertone medium middle Bergamot. Marjoram. Lavender.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > analgesic > anti-inflammatory > antispasmodic > bactericidal > carminative > digestive > emmenagogue Therapeutic uses: See Roman Chamomile Psychological profile: See Roman Chamomile > febrifuge > hepatic > sedative (nerve) > stimulates leucocytosis (production of white blood cells) > stomachic > vulnerary Summary Safety data > See Roman Chamomile > Use in small proportions to avoid adverse skin reactions. Rosemary.

Lavender Sandalwood Energetic Profile Neutral temperature 47 .The Essential Oils Therapeutic properties > antispasmodic > emmenagogue Therapeutic uses > Digestive system colic. colitis. insomnia > Skin care sensitive skins. > hepatic > sedative Summary Safety data Generally considered as non-toxic and non-irritant. Geranium. inflammatory skin conditions Psychological profile: Moroccan Chamomile is helpful for frustration. Clary Sage Clary Sage is a deep muscle relaxant. Juniper. irritability and nervous tension. migraine. Cypress. which is helpful in aiding mind and body to relax simultaneously. liver and spleen congestion > Endocrine system menstrual and menopausal problems > Nervous system headache. Key Word Relaxing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Salvia sclarea flowering tops and leaves of the herb steam distillation heavy. leafy. nutty medium top to middle Bergamot. Frankincense. Grapefruit.

moodiness. bronchitis. paranoia. insomnia. menstrual problems (scanty or painful). pre-menstrual and menopausal). Reputedly good for coughs and respiratory complaints (in France cough pastilles were once made from crushed Cypress cones). depression (post-natal. fear. See Photo 7 on page 92. dyspepsia. excellent for circulation and an effective ‘hormonal’ oil. Key Word Cleansing 48 . Cypress The key property of Cypress is that it is a powerful astringent. rage. and avoid combining use with alcohol consumption as it may cause drowsiness. obsessional behaviour. constipation. debility. guilt.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antispasmodic > carminative > digestive > emmenagogue > euphoric > hypotensive Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system high blood pressure > Digestive system colic. > nervine > parturient > relaxant (muscle) > stomachic > tonic > uterine Summary Safety data Avoid use of Clary Sage during pregnancy. menopause > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and pains > Nervous system migraine. throat infections > Skin care acne and oily skins Psychological profile: Clary Sage is useful for anxiety. negativity. flatulence. restlessness and worry. stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma. intestinal cramps > Endocrine system pre-menstrual syndrome. panic.

feelings of regret.The Essential Oils Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Cupressus sempervirens needles. Lavender. despondency. irritability > Respiratory system asthma. 49 . generally considered to be non-toxic. non-irritant and non-sensitising. confusion. Juniper. self-loathing. twigs and cones of the tree steam distillation pleasant smoky. bronchitis. excessive perspiration > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Cypress is useful for bereavement. Orange. mood swings. emotional instability. Lemon. Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > astringent > deodorant > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation. Clary Sage. oily skin (and hair). menopausal symptoms > Immune system coughs. lack of trust. irritability. sorrow and withdrawal. Rosemary. > febrifuge > haemostatic > hepatic > sedative > tonic > vasoconstrictor Summary Safety data No specific precautions. whooping cough > Skin care acne. See Photo 8 on page 92. joint pain > Nervous system nervous tension. forest aroma. frustration. Pine. nervous tension. varicose veins > Endocrine system menstrual problems. impatience. Bergamot. flu > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and pains. clear and refreshing medium middle to base Benzoin.

congestion in the head. Lavender. > diuretic > expectorant > febrifuge > rubefacient > stimulant > vulnerary 50 . Rosemary. flu > Musculo-skeletal system aches and pains. sore throat > Skin care healing to the skin > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Eucalyptus is helpful for addiction. Thyme Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antiviral > bactericidal > decongestant > depurative Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Immune system coughs. sinusitis. loneliness. coughs. Lemongrass. headaches > Respiratory system asthma.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Eucalyptus Eucalyptus is a very powerful oil. Melissa. bitterness. camphoraceous with a woody undertone high top Benzoin. having powerful effects on the respiratory systems. and is an excellent agent in healing flesh wounds and external ulcers. guilt. Juniper. Bergamot. catarrh. moodiness and resentment. Key Word Decongestant Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Eucalyptus globulus leaves and twigs of the tree steam distillation clear. piercing and penetrating aroma. joint pain > Nervous system debility. menthol. Pine. sharp. bronchitis. Lemon.

May antidote homeopathic preparations due to its strong odour. flatulence and nausea > Endocrine system pre-menstrual tension. menstrual problems > Immune system coughs. Rose.The Essential Oils Summary Safety data Eucalyptus is a powerful oil and should be used in low concentrations. joint pain 51 > emmenagogue > expectorant > laxative > stimulant > stomachic > tonic . menopausal problems. Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > antispasmodic > carminative > depurative > detoxicant > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation. Lavender. cellulite > Digestive system colic. flu > Musculo-skeletal system aches and pains. Fennel Fennel is well known for its tonic action on digestion and for its detoxifying character. Lemon. See Photo 9 on page 93. constipation. Rosemary. Orange. both floral and herby. dyspepsia. slightly spicy high middle Geranium. Key Word Detoxifying Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Foeniculum vulgare crushed seeds of the herb steam distillation aniseed.

Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > astringent > carminative > cytophylactic 52 > digestive > emmenagogue > expectorant > sedative > uterine . > Best avoided during pregnancy. Myrrh. emotional blockages.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > Nervous system nervous debility. fear of failure. Summary Safety data > Use in moderation as Fennel is a powerful oil. Lavender. Pine. Melissa. headache > Respiratory system asthma. lack of confidence. when feeling overburdened. Orange. Frankincense The chief uses of Frankincense are in skin care and respiratory infections. emotional instability. Geranium. hostility. bronchitis. > Best avoided by epilepsy sufferers. whooping cough > Skin care dull. Grapefruit. inability to adjust. mental weakness. oily and mature skins. as it is more gentle. > It is recommended that sweet fennel is used in aromatherapy and NOT the bitter fennel. with a rich balsamic undertone high middle to base Black Pepper. Key Word Meditative Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Boswellia carteri resin of the tree steam distillation woody and spicy fragrance. See Photo 10 on page 93. Patchouli. tightens and tones the skin > Urinary system urinary tract infections Psychological profile: Fennel is useful for boredom.

Orange. irritability.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Digestive system dyspepsia > Endocrine system menstrual problems > Immune system colds (head) > Nervous system anxiety. Clary Sage. Rosemary. whether on the physical or emotional level. vulnerability and worry. See Photo 11 on page 93. Summary Safety data Best avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy. hopelessness. scars and blemishes > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Frankincense is helpful for anger. Grapefruit. catarrh. shortness of breath > Skin care regenerating on mature skins. Jasmine. fear. Frankincense is generally considered as non-toxic. reminiscent of Rose but with minty overtones high middle Bergamot. nervous tension. Petitgrain. insecurity. stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma. which tends to balance extremes. grief. non-irritant and non-sensitising. Lavender. apprehension. acne. laryngitis. It helps to release emotional blockages. Rose. tearfulness. Geranium Geranium is a very balancing and regulating oil. abscesses. Key Word Balancing Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Pelargonium graveolens flowers and leaves of the plant (pelargonium) steam distillation strong sweet and heavy aroma. nervous tension. Neroli. remorse (dwelling on the past). coughs. bronchitis. Sandalwood Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) 53 . lack of faith.

cellulite > Nervous system nervous tension and stress-related problems > Skin care effective on balancing all skin types. > cytophylactic > diuretic > haemostatic > tonic (liver and kidneys) > vulnerary Summary Safety data May cause irritation to sensitive skins. moodiness. depression (particularly linked to hormones). digestive and nervous systems. menopausal problems > Lymphatic system fluid retention. See Photo 12 on page 93. Effective for eczema. oedema > Endocrine system pre-menstrual syndrome. Key Word Warming 54 . bruises and wounds Psychological profile (balancing to the mind): Geranium is helpful for anxiety. mental lethargy.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > adrenal cortex stimulant > antidepressant > antihaemorrhagic > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > astringent Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation. confusion. Ginger Ginger is a very stimulating oil. may cause restlessness if used excessively. dermatitis. especially dry and oily. sadness and tearfulness. which has very positive effects on the muscular.

Geranium. 55 . loneliness. confusion. use in low concentrations. loss of appetite. Eucalyptus.The Essential Oils Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Zingiber officinale dried ground root of the plant steam distillation warm. See Photo 13 on page 94. nausea > Immune system colds (runny). chilblains > Digestive system diarrhoea. Rosemary Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (hot) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > aperitif > bactericidal > carminative > expectorant Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation. colic. flu > Musculo-skeletal system aches and pains. muscular fatigue. Orange. lack of focus. burnout. catarrh. woody and spicy medium middle Cajeput. lack of direction. > febrifuge > laxative > rubefacient > stimulant > stomachic > tonic Summary Safety data May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Lemon. resignation and sadness. Frankincense. joint pain > Nervous system nervous exhaustion > Respiratory system coughs. indigestion. sore throat Psychological profile: Ginger is helpful for apathy. flatulence.

feelings of envy. It is very uplifting and will help depression and general stress-related conditions. grief. flu > Musculo-skeletal system muscular fatigue. Key Word Refreshing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Citrus paradisi fresh peel of the fruit cold expression fresh. congested and oily skins > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Grapefruit is helpful for depression. Geranium. cellulite > Immune system coughs. depression > Skin care acne. > diuretic > stimulant > tonic 56 . rheumatic pain > Nervous system nervous exhaustion. Jasmine. Lavender. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > astringent > bactericidal > depurative Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Digestive system abdominal distension. nausea > Lymphatic system fluid retention. colds.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Grapefruit Grapefruit is a very effective oil for stimulating the lymphatic system. the Chamomiles. Rosewood. sharp and refreshing medium top Bergamot. sweet. headaches. Rose. constipation. fear. Palmarosa. lack of confidence and resentment. Frankincense.

Neroli. flowery and heavy aroma very high base Bergamot. labour pain > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and pains. stress-related problems > Respiratory system coughs. Geranium. Rose. Orange. dry and sensitive skins 57 > expectorant > parturient > sedative > uterine . Sandalwood. colds. See Photo 14 on page 94. laryngitis > Skin care effective on all skin types. Frankincense. warms and softens the nerves and tendons’. stiffness > Nervous system depression. nervous exhaustion. Key Word Comforting Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Jasminum officinalis fragrant white flowers of the shrub or vine solvent extraction very sweet.The Essential Oils Summary Safety data Skin irritation could occur if exposed to strong sunlight within 12–24 hours of treatment. especially hot. Rosewood. it opens. ‘The oil is good for hard and contracted limbs. Palmarosa. Jasmine Jasmine is most notably used for its effects on the reproductive system and the skin. Melissa. Culpeper stated in his herbal. Tangerine Energetic Profile Neutral temperature Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > antispasmodic > aphrodisiac Therapeutic uses > Endocrine system reproductive problems. menstrual pain. Mandarin.

refreshing. Juniper Juniper is a detoxifying oil that works effectively on an emotional and physical plane. fear.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Psychological profile: Jasmine is helpful for confusion. Lavender. Cypress. Orange. Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Juniperus communis fresh ripe berries of the bush/evergreen tree steam distillation clear. lack of interest. Bergamot. Summary Safety data No known hazards if used in sensible proportions. lack of self-worth. lack of confidence. Frankincense. Geranium. Rosemary. Lemongrass. lack of trust. Sandalwood Therapeutic properties > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > astringent > carminative > depurative > detoxicant > emmenagogue > nervine > rubefacient > stimulant > stomachic > tonic > vulnerary 58 . inhibition. nervous tension and sadness. Melissa. slightly woody aroma medium middle Key Word Cleansing Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (hot) Benzoin. depression. Grapefruit. See Photo 15 on page 94.

Summary Safety data > Best avoided during pregnancy. stiffness > Nervous system anxiety and nervous tension. See Photo 16 on page 94. restlessness and withdrawal. > Use in moderation as it can be very stimulating. Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Lavendula officinalis/augustifolia fresh flowering tops of the evergreen woody shrub steam distillation powerful herbal/floral aroma medium middle Key Word Balancing Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Bergamot. Rosemary. guilt. Thyme Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antidepressant > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > antiviral > bactericidal > carminative 59 . Lemon. Lemongrass. confusion. tissue toxication > Muscular system muscular aches and pains. Mandarin. Pine. Chamomiles. Jasmine. feeling of being emotionally drained. feeling of worthlessness. stress-related problems > Skin care effective for acne.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Endocrine system menstrual problems > Lymphatic system fluid retention. obsession. Orange. Geranium. fear. Sandalwood. congested and oily skins Psychological profile (cleansing to the mind and spirit): Juniper is useful for addiction. Lavender Lavender is a universally balancing oil and best known for its versatility. Clary Sage. being equally effective on a wide range of conditions. Patchouli.

paranoia and worry. Summary Safety data Lavender is generally considered as non-toxic. insomnia. joint pain > Nervous system depression. impatience. Lemon Lemon is a refreshing and cooling oil: its key function is in strengthening the immune system. panic. flatulence. flu > Muscular system muscular aches and pains. nausea > Hormonal system pre-menstrual syndrome > Immune system colds. anxiety. fear. bronchitis. very healing and regenerating on all skins Psychological profile: Lavender is helpful for anger. See Photo 17 on page 95.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > cytophylactic > decongestant > diuretic > emmenagogue > hypotensive Therapeutic uses > insecticidal > nervine > sedative > vulnerary > Circulatory system high blood pressure. mood swings. non-irritant and non-sensitising and is best avoided during the early stages of pregnancy. migraine. coughs. heart conditions > Digestive system colic. hysteria. emotional instability. despondency. headache. dyspepsia. sinusitis > Skin care all skin types. irritation. negative thoughts. nervous tension and stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma. depression. Key Word Fortifying 60 .

fear. Frankincense. Ginger. Juniper. See Photo 18 on page 95. Fennel. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > astringent > carminative > depurative > diuretic > febrifuge > haemostatic Therapeutic uses > Circulation system poor circulation > Digestive system dyspepsia. Neroli. Eucalyptus. Sandalwood. bloatedness > Immune system colds. do not use on skin exposed to direct sunlight. catarrh. flu and infections > Respiratory system asthma. Rose. The expressed essential oil is phototoxic. sore throat > Skin care especially effective for oily skins Psychological profile: Lemon is helpful for confusion. mental fatigue and worry. bronchitis. > hypotensive > insecticide > laxative > rubefacient > stimulates leucocytosis (production of white blood cells) > stomachic > tonic Summary Safety data May cause skin irritation and sensitisation in some individuals.The Essential Oils Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Citrus limonum outer part of the fresh peel of the fruit cold expression refreshing sharp citrus aroma medium to high top Bergamot. the Chamomiles. 61 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Lemongrass is a very powerful antiseptic, useful in combating infection. A valuable stress-relieving oil with a pleasant fresh aroma.

Key Word

Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with:

Cymbopogon citratus fresh and partially dried aromatic grass steam distillation sweet and lemony; fresh grassy aroma medium to high top Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Teatree

Energetic Profile
Towards the Yin (cool)

Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antidepressant > antiseptic > astringent > bactericidal > carminative Therapeutic uses > Digestive system colitis, flatulence, indigestion > Immune system colds, flu and infections > Musculo-skeletal system tired aching muscles, fatigue > Nervous system nervous exhaustion, headaches, stress-related conditions > Respiratory system sore throat, fever > Skin care especially effective for oily skins, acne, open pores. Effective for excessive perspiration Psychological profile: Lemongrass is helpful for lack of assertiveness, lack of mental clarity, lack of focus and judgement, nervous exhaustion and nervous tension. > deodorant > digestive > diuretic > febrifuge > nervine > tonic


The Essential Oils

Safety data This oil is best used in low proportions, as it has the potential to cause dermal irritation/sensitisation.

See Photo 19 on page 95.

Mandarin is a very mild oil that is an excellent choice for pregnant women and children.
Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Citrus nobilis outer peel of the fruit cold expression delicate, sweet, tangy aroma with floral undertones low to medium top

Key Word

Energetic Profile
Towards the Yin (cool)

Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, the Chamomiles, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Neroli, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Rose, Rosemary

Therapeutic properties > antispasmodic > cytophylactic > digestive Therapeutic uses > Digestive system flatulence, loss of appetite, colitis, constipation > Endocrine system pregnancy, pre-menstrual tension > Nervous system anxiety, depression, nervous tension, stress-related problems > Skin care all skin types; particularly effective on stretch marks and scarring Psychological profile: Mandarin is helpful for anxiety, dejection, dwelling on the past, feelings of emptiness, grief, nervous tension, over-excitability, restlessness and shyness. > sedative > tonic


Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Safety data May be phototoxic, so it is best to avoid exposure to strong sunlight/ultra-violet light following treatment.

See Photo 20 on page 95.

Marjoram (Sweet)
Marjoram is a powerful muscle relaxant that allows the mind and body to relax simultaneously. It has a particularly soothing, warming and fortifying effect on disorders of the digestive, muscular, nervous and respiratory systems.
Origanum marjorana dried leaves/flowering tops of herb steam distillation deeply penetrating, peppery, nutty, spicy and warming aroma medium middle

Key Word

Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with:

Energetic Profile

Towards the Yang (warm)

Bergamot, the Chamomiles, Cypress, Lavender, Mandarin, Orange, Rosemary, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang

Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > antiviral > arterial vasodilator > carminative > digestive Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system high blood pressure, heart conditions > Digestive system colic, constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence > Hormonal system menstrual problems, pre-menstrual syndrome

> emmenagogue > expectorant > hypotensive > laxative > nervine > rubefacient > sedative (heart)

The Essential Oils

> Immune system colds > Muscular system muscular aches and stiffness, joint pain > Nervous system headaches, migraine, insomnia, nervous tension and stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma, bronchitis, coughs Psychological profile: Marjoram is helpful for anxiety, depression, fear, grief, loneliness and nervous tension.

Safety data Best avoided during pregnancy.

See Photo 21 on page 96.

Melissa is particularly associated with nervous disorders, the heart and the emotions, and for digestive and respiratory complaints of nervous origin.

Key Word

Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with:

Melissa officinalis leaves and flowering tops of the herb steam distillation sweet and lemon-like, with floral overtones medium to high middle The Chamomiles, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang

Energetic Profile
Towards the Yin (cool)

Therapeutic properties > antiallergenic > antidepressant > antispasmodic > carminative > digestive > febrifuge > hypotensive > nervine > sedative > stomachic > tonic > uterine


Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system high blood pressure, palpitations > Digestive system flatulence, gastric spasms, nausea, dyspepsia > Endocrine system pre-menstrual tension, painful menstruation > Nervous system migraines, headaches, anxiety > Respiratory system asthma, colds, rapid breathing > Skin care all skin types; particularly effective on very sensitive/allergic skin types. Psychological profile: Melissa is helpful for grief, hypersensitivity, mental blocks, nervous tension, negativity, panic and shock.

Safety data
> Best avoided during pregnancy. > May cause sensitisation and dermal irritation (avoid use with very sensitive skins). > Best used in low dilutions only. > Due to its cost Melissa is one of the most frequently adulterated oils commercially. See Photo 22 on page 96.

Myrrh, like Frankincense, is an effective oil for respiratory and skin conditions.

Key Word

Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with:

Commiphora myrrha the gum from the trunk (oleoresin) a) resinoid by solvent extraction and b) steam distillation from the crude myrrh smoky and musky high base Benzoin, Frankincense, Lavender, Orange, Patchouli, Sandalwood

Energetic Profile

Towards the Yang (warm)

Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > astringent > diuretic > emmenagogue > expectorant

> stimulant > stomachic > tonic > uterine > vulnerary

restlessness and where there is a tendency to overreact emotionally. sore throats > Skin Care all skin types.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Endocrine system pregnancy. floral aroma with a bitter undertone medium middle to base Key Word Calming Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Benzoin. bronchitis. Is very healing for cracked and chapped skin Psychological profile: Myrrh is helpful for fear and uncertainty about the future. See Photo 23 on page 96. depression. Neroli Neroli is a wonderfully effective oil for stress relief and is one of the most effective oils for emotional shock. particularly effective on mature skins. Geranium. Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Citrus aurantium freshly picked orange blossom flowers of the evergreen tree steam distillation (a concrete and absolute are also produced by solvent extraction) very sweet. Summary Safety data Myrrh is best avoided during pregnancy. Orange. nervous tension. stress-related problems > Respiratory system coughs. Bergamot. agitation. Palmarosa. Ylang Ylang Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > bactericidal > carminative > cytophylactic > digestive > nervine > sedative > tonic 67 . Rose. Jasmine. Lavender. pre-menstrual tension > Nervous system anxiety. Sandalwood. Petitgrain. Lemon. Rosemary.

sensitive and mature skins Psychological profile (reliever of extreme stress): Anxiety. flatulence. which can help to dispel nervous tension. emotional trauma. zesty and warm medium top to middle Key Word Cheerful Energetic Profile Neutral temperature Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > carminative > digestive > febrifuge > sedative > stomachic > tonic 68 . nervous tension > Skin care effective for all skin types especially the dry. whether purely emotional or linked to a physical ailment. desperation. Summary Safety data Neroli has no known hazards. Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Citrus sinensis outer peel of fruit cold expression sweet fruity aroma. Orange (Sweet) Sweet Orange is a very ‘smiley’ oil. apprehension.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Digestive system colic. stress-related digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome > Hormonal system pre-menstrual syndrome > Nervous system anxiety. fear and nervous tension. See Photo 28 on page 98. depression.

Summary Safety data Sweet Orange has no known hazards. stress-related disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome > Immune system colds and flu > Lymphatic system fluid retention > Nervous system nervous tension and stress-related problems > Skin care effective for dull.The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Digestive system indigestion. Palmarosa Palmarosa is an excellent skin hydrator and regenerator and therefore is an effective choice in skin care. and leaves of the herbaceous plant steam or water distillation sweet. Rosewood. Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Cymbopogon martinii fresh. Ylang Ylang 69 . See Photo 24 on page 97. Jasmine. depression and emotional exhaustion. slightly dry with a hint of Rose low to medium top Key Word Regenerating Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Bergamot. floral aroma. Lavender. or dried grass. Rose. congested and oily skins Psychological profile (comforting and warming to the spirit): Sweet Orange is helpful for anxiety. Melissa. Geranium. Sandalwood. Orange. Petitgrain. constipation.

See Photo 25 on page 97. Rose. Rosewood. Bergamot. Unlike other oils. Neroli. sweet and spicy. it is advisable to use it sparingly in a blend. Myrrh. Patchouli seems to improve with age. depression > Skin care all skin types. Lavender. Black Pepper. particularly effective on dry and mature skins Psychological profile: Palmarosa is helpful for emotional trauma. Clary Sage. Sandalwood 70 . strong. Ginger. Geranium. Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blending tip: Blends well with: Pogostemon cablin dried leaves of the perennial bushy herb steam distillation earthy. Patchouli Patchouli is very useful in skin care. Pine.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antiviral > bactericidal > cytophylactic Therapeutic uses > Musculo-skeletal system stiff muscles and joints > Nervous system anxiety. deep and exotic high base Key Word Sedative Energetic Profile Neutral temperature Due to the fact that Patchouli is highly odorous. being a very effective cell regenerator. > digestive > febrifuge > hydrating > stimulant (digestive and circulatory) > tonic Summary Safety data Palmarosa has no known hazards. feelings of being restricted or trapped or when feeling listless. Frankincense. Lemongrass.

See Photo 26 on page 97. Peppermint Peppermint is a very stimulating oil to both mind and body and is therefore an excellent choice for mental and physical fatigue. mood swings and negativity. Key Word Reviving 71 . flu and infections > Nervous system depression. healing to cracked skin. apprehension.The Essential Oils Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > aphrodisiac > astringent > cytophylactic > deodorant Therapeutic uses > Circulation system poor circulation > Lymphatic system fluid retention > Immune system colds. nervous exhaustion. indecision. It is also well known for its effects on the digestive and respiratory systems. non-irritant and non-sensitising. excessive perspiration. insecurity. depression. stress-related conditions > Skin care especially effective for oily skins. > diuretic > febrifuge > insecticide > sedative > tonic Summary Safety data Patchouli is generally regarded as non-toxic. skin infections Psychological profile: Patchouli is helpful for anxiety.

72 . > emmenagogue > expectorant > febrifuge > hepatic > nervine > stimulant > vasoconstrictor Summary Safety data Use in moderation as it is a very stimulating oil. Lavender. joint pain > Nervous system headaches. Rosemary Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > anti-inflammatory > antiseptic > antispasmodic > antiviral > cephalic > decongestant Therapeutic uses > Digestive system colic. flatulence and nausea > Immune system colds and flu > Muscular system muscular pain. Cypress. Mandarin. dyspepsia. Marjoram.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Mentha piperita stems and leaves of the herb steam distillation strong. Pine. Orange. bronchitis. May cause sensitisation due to menthol constituent. See Photo 27 on page 97. nervous stress > Respiratory system asthma. sharp piercing menthol aroma medium to high top Benzoin. cramp. migraine. sinusitis > Skin care congested skins Psychological Profile: Peppermint is helpful for depression and mental fatigue. It is > best avoided during pregnancy > best avoided by those suffering with epilepsy or heart disease > best avoided if homeopathic remedies are being taken.

irrationality. Lavender. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > deodorant Therapeutic uses > Digestive system dyspepsia. Neroli. See Photo 28 on page 98. Sandalwood. Rosewood. indigestion > Nervous system nervous exhaustion. invigorating. Orange. emotional shock. > digestive > nervine > stomachic > tonic Summary Safety data Petitgrain has no known hazards. Palmarosa. pessimism. confusion. Geranium. disappointment. 73 .The Essential Oils Petitgrain Petitgrain is a very refreshing oil that has very beneficial effects on digestion and minor stress-related conditions. Rosemary. Melissa. Key Word Energising Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Citrus aurantium leaves and twigs of the tree steam distillation fresh. excessive perspiration Psychological profile: Petitgrain is helpful for anger. flatulence. rigidity and sadness. stress-related conditions > Skin care acne and oily skins. introversion. slightly floral aroma with a woody herbaceous undertone (resembles Neroli but is slightly more bitter) medium middle to top Bergamot. insomnia. mental fatigue. overactive mind.

Key Word Cleansing Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Pinus sylvestris needles and cones of the tree steam distillation fresh. sinus and bronchial congestion. Eucalyptus. laryngitis. 74 . Rosemary. Lavender. Thyme Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > decongestant > deodorant > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Musculo-skeletal system muscular pain and stiffness > Nervous system nervous debility. > expectorant > rubefacient > stimulant > tonic Summary Safety data Pine is best used in small proportions as it may irritate sensitive skins. Teatree. forest aroma high middle Cypress. flu > Skin care congested skins Psychological profile: Pine is helpful in times of weakness and general debility. mental fatigue > Respiratory system bronchitis. See Photo 29 on page 98.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Pine Pine is one of the most effective oils in helping respiratory infections. breathlessness.

lack of self-worth. Patchouli. palpitations > Digestive system liver congestion > Endocrine system menstrual problems.The Essential Oils Rose Rose is a superb oil. Mandarin. Jasmine. Sandalwood Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > antiviral > aphrodisiac > astringent > bactericidal > depurative Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation. ageing and sensitive skins Psychological profile: Rose is helpful for bereavement and grief. digestive and nervous systems. insomnia. Clary Sage. Neroli. Lavender. hay fever > Skin care all skin types especially dry. rich and sweet honey-rose aroma very high base Bergamot. pre-menstrual syndrome. Orange. nervous tension. melancholia and nervous tension. stress-related problems > Respiratory system asthma. > emmenagogue > haemostatic > hepatic > laxative > sedative > stomachic > tonic (heart. It also has a pronounced effect on the circulatory. Key Word Supportive Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Rosa damascena (damask rose) Rosa centifolia (cabbage rose) fresh petals of flowers of the shrub/plant solvent extraction/water or steam distillation Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) rose otto has a sweet and mellow aroma with a hint of vanilla. emotional trauma. stomach. liver. lack of confidence. it is effective for skin care and has an affinity for the female reproductive system. uterine disorders > Nervous system depression. Geranium. insecurity. the Chamomiles. uterus) 75 . Palmarosa. rose absolute has a deep. coughs. Cypress.

Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Rosmarinus officinalis flowers/leaves of the herb steam distillation strong. See Photo 30 on page 98.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Summary Safety data Rose has no known hazards. Rosemary Rosemary is a physical and mental stimulant that is also useful for a wide range of nervous. flu . warm and penetrating note. circulatory. muscular and digestive disorders. adrenal) > stomachic > tonic > vulnerary poor circulation fluid retention > Immune system colds. herbal aroma with a clear. camphor undertone high middle Key Word Invigorating Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > astringent > carminative > cephalic > cytophylactic > digestive > diuretic Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system > Lymphatic system 76 > emmenagogue > hepatic > hypertensive > nervine > rubefacent > stimulant (circulatory.

bronchitis. Rose. Rosewood Rosewood is a mild and safe choice in skin care and is also a very effective immune stimulant. confusion. Patchouli. emotional numbness and nervous debility. See Photo 31 on page 98. Vetivert Therapeutic properties > analgesic > antidepressant > antiseptic > bactericidal > cephalic > deodorant > insecticide > stimulant > tonic 77 . doubt. Summary Safety data Rosemary is best avoided during pregnancy. floral with a hint of spice medium middle Key Word Enlivening Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Bergamot. Sandalwood. Rosemary. Petitgrain. Due to its highly stimulating actions it is best avoided by epilepsy sufferers and those with high blood pressure. mental fatigue. anxiety. joint pain > Nervous system debility. sinusitis > Skin care especially effective for oily skin and scalp disorders Psychological profile (uplifting and energising to the mind): Rosemary is helpful for anguish. Frankincense. Geranium. Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Aniba rosaeodora wood chippings of the tree steam distillation sweet. nervous exhaustion asthma. Palmarosa.The Essential Oils > Musculo-skeletal system > Respiratory system muscular aches and pains. headaches. woody. depression.

it has very powerful effects on the skin and the respiratory system. mood swings.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic uses > Nervous system headaches. Sandalwood Sandalwood is a very subtle oil. Summary Safety data Rosewood appears to have no known hazards. sensitive and inflamed skins Psychological profile: Rosewood is helpful for emotional instability. It is also a valuable antidepressant and an aid to stress-related conditions. See Photo 32 on page 99. especially when associated with anxiety. sore throats. Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Santalum album roots and heartwood of the tree water or steam distillation very subtle. nervousness and stress > Respiratory system viruses. nervous tension and when feeling weary and overburdened with worry. woody and exotic aroma medium base note Key Word Supportive Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > antispasmodic > aphrodisiac > astringent > bactericidal > carminative > diuretic > expectorant > sedative > tonic 78 . however. ticklish coughs > Skin care all skin types for cell regeneration especially the dry.

flu. stress-related problems > Respiratory system bronchitis. nervous tension. depression. sensitivity. lack of courage. nausea > Immune system colds. insecurity. Rose 79 .The Essential Oils Therapeutic uses > Digestive system diarrhoea. Lavender. nervous tension. timidity and weakness of spirit. Tangerine Tangerine is a gentle refreshing oil that is a useful choice for mild stressrelated conditions and is useful during pregnancy. tearfulness. dehydrated. laryngitis. Neroli. Grapefruit. Orange. sweet and tangy low to medium top Key Word Revitalising Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Basil. catarrh. the Chamomiles. emotional exhaustion. Summary Safety data Sandalwood has no known hazards. Clary Sage. infections > Lymphatic system cellulite > Nervous system anxiety. fear. shyness. insomnia. Lemon. oily skins and acne > Urinary system cystitis Psychological profile: Sandalwood is helpful for apprehension. See Photo 33 on page 99. Frankincense. Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Citrus reticulata outer peel of the fruit cold expression light. Geranium. Bergamot. sore throats > Skin care effective for dry. cough.

dejection. restlessness and shyness. grief. nervous tension. Teatree The effects of Teatree are diverse in that it is a very effective antiseptic in skin care and with respiratory ailments. therefore it is best to avoid exposure to strong sunlight/ultra-violet light for at least 12 hours following treatment. Botanical name: Source: Method of extraction: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Melaleuca alternifolia leaves and twigs of the tree steam or water distillation strong antiseptic aroma very high top Key Word Clarifying Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (warm) Eucalyptus. feelings of emptiness. Ginger. over-excitability. > sedative > stomachic > tonic Summary Safety data May be phototoxic. nervous tension. Rosemary. particularly effective on stretch marks and scarring Psychological profile: Tangerine is helpful for anxiety. Thyme 80 . constipation > Endocrine system pregnancy > Musculo-skeletal system tired and aching limbs > Nervous system anxiety. Orange. Its key quality is in strengthening the immune system. Lemon. dwelling on the past.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > antispasmodic > cytophylactic Therapeutic uses > Digestive system flatulence. stress-related problems > Skin care all skin types. See Photo 34 on page 99. Lavender. depression. Mandarin.

herbaceous and warming high top to middle Key Word Fortifying Energetic Profile Towards the Yang (hot) Bergamot. Mandarin. infections > Respiratory system asthma.The Essential Oils Therapeutic properties > antibiotic > antiseptic > antiviral > bactericidal Therapeutic uses > Immune system colds. flu. Melissa. thrush Psychological profile (psychic protector): Teatree is useful for fear. sinusitis > Skin care oily skins > Urinary system cystitis. Juniper. > expectorant > fungicidal > stimulant > vulnerary Summary Safety data Teatree may cause irritation and sensitisation to some skins. Teatree 81 . hypochondria. Lemon. Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Thymus vulgaris fresh or partially dried leaves and flowering tops of herb steam or water distillation sweet. coughs. the Chamomiles. Rosemary. See Photo 35 on page 99. very effective on the respiratory and genitourinary systems. negativity and shock. Thyme (Common or Sweet) Thyme is a very strong antiseptic. bronchitis. hysteria. catarrh.

intestinal cramps > Immune system colds > Nervous system nervous exhaustion. flatulence. lack of direction. only a few are recommended for therapeutic use. > There are a number of chemotypes of thyme available. mental weakness and worry. > White thyme is a redistillation of Red Thyme and is often adulterated. 82 . whooping cough and asthma > Skin care abscesses. > expectorant > hypertensive > insecticidal > nervine > rubefacient > stimulates leucocytosis (production of white blood cells) Summary Safety data > Thyme is one of the strongest antiseptics and therefore should be used with care and in moderation. > Red thyme contains higher proportions of the toxic chemical constituents phenols. dyspepsia. mental and psychic blockages. > Avoid use during pregnancy or in cases of high blood pressure. laryngitis. which may cause skin irritation and sensitisation. pharyngitis. tonsillitis. boils. mental and physical fatigue > Respiratory system coughs.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Therapeutic properties > antibiotic > antirheumatic > antiseptic > antispasmodic > antiviral > carminative > diuretic > emmenagogue Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system poor circulation > Lymphatic system accumulation of toxins > Digestive system diarrhoea. mental debility. sore throats. > The oil labelled as Sweet Thyme is preferable for use in aromatherapy as it contains higher proportions of the more gentle constituents such as geraniol and linalol. cuts and skin infections Psychological profile: Thyme is useful for anxiety.

Jasmine. Key Word Tranquillity Botanical name: Source: Method of production: Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: Blends well with: Vetiveria zizanioides dried roots and rootlets of the tall perennial grass steam distillation deep. Ylang Ylang Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Therapeutic properties > antiseptic > antispasmodic > aphrodisiac > depurative Therapeutic uses > Musculo-skeletal system muscular aches and pains. 83 . Patchouli. arthritis > Nervous system nervous debility. Lavender. earthy and smoky high base Benzoin. Rosewood.The Essential Oils Vetivert Vetivert is associated with inner harmony and is therefore an excellent choice for stress relief and nervous tension. Frankincense. Geranium. Rose. Bergamot. stress-related problems > Skin care all skin types. dry or irritated skins Psychological profile: Vetivert is helpful for an overactive mind. See Photo 36 on page 100. Grapefruit. Sandalwood. insecurity and over-sensitivity. rheumatism. particularly effective on mature. > nervine > rubefacient > sedative > tonic Summary Safety data Vetivert is non-toxic and non-irritant.

and 3) high base Energetic Profile Towards the Yin (cool) Aroma characteristics: Odour intensity: Note: very sweet heavy. 2. with a musky undertone Therapeutic properties > antidepressant > antiseptic > aphrodisiac > euphoric > hypotensive Therapeutic uses > Circulatory system high blood pressure > Hormonal system hormonal problems > Nervous system anxiety. the further successive distillates are called Ylang Ylang 1. depression. insecurity. fear. jealousy. 84 . nervous tension. floral and exotic aroma. Key Word Reassuring Botanical name: Plant origin: Method of extraction: Cananga odorata freshly picked fragrant flowers of the small tropical tree steam or water distillation (the first distillate is called Ylang Ylang Extra. See Photo 37 on page 100. introversion. it is a very valuable antidepressant and can help to instil confidence. insomnia. panic. stress-related problems > Skin care oily and dry skins Psychological profile (confidence booster): Ylang Ylang is useful for anger. sensitivity and stubbornness. frustration. lack of confidence. Use in low concentrations as its heady aroma may cause headaches and nausea.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Ylang Ylang Ylang Ylang is a real comforter in times of stress. > nervine > regulator (hormonal and sebum) > sedative (nervous) > stimulant (circulatory) > tonic (uterine) Summary Safety data Ylang Ylang may cause sensitisation in some skins.

The Essential Oils Complete the following tables by identifying the following information: Task > the common name of the essential oil > the origin of the oil (i. 85 . the part of the plant from which it is produced) > the method of production > list five known properties attributed to this oil.e.

86 Botanical name Common name of essential oil Source Method of production Properties Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Citrus bergamia Rose dameascena Rosemarinus officinalis Santalum album 8 Table 1: The Essential Oils 8 .

Botanical name Common name of essential oil Source Method of production Properties Cananga odorata Piper nigrum Anthemis nobilis Salvia sclarea The Essential Oils 8 Table 1: Continued 8 87 .

88 Botanical name Common name of essential oil Source Method of production Properties Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Eucalyptus globulus Botswellia carteri Pelargonium graveolens Juniperus communis 8 Table 1: Continued 8 .

Botanical name Common name of essential oil Source Method of production Properties Lavendula officinalis Citrus limonum Origanum majorana Mentha piperita The Essential Oils 8 Table 1: Continued 8 89 .

Why is it important to be able to recognise the botanical name of a plant in connection with an essential oil? 3. Why is it often said that essential oils contain the life force of the plant? 2.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Self-assessment Questions 1. Define the following terms used to describe the therapeutic properties of essential oils: i) analgesic ii) antispasmodic iii) rubefacient iv) febrifuge v) cytophylactic vi) carminative 90 .

The Essential Oils 8 Photo 1: Basil (sweet) 8 8 Photo 2: Benzoin 8 8 Photo 3: Bergamot 8 8 Photo 4: Black Pepper 8 91 .

German/Blue Chamomile and Moroccan Chamomile 8 8 Photo 5: Cajeput 8 8 Photo 7: Clary Sage 8 8 Photo 8: Cypress 8 92 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 6: Roman Chamomile.

The Essential Oils 8 Photo 9: Eucalyptus 8 8 Photo 10: Fennel 8 8 Photo 11: Frankincense 8 8 Photo 12: Geranium 8 93 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 13: Ginger 8 8 Photo 14: Grapefruit 8 8 Photo 15: Jasmine 8 8 Photo 16: Juniper 8 94 .

The Essential Oils 8 Photo 18: Lemon 8 8 Photo 17: Lavender 8 8 Photo 19: Lemongrass 8 8 Photo 20: Mandarin 8 95 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 21: Marjoram (Sweet) 8 8 Photo 22: Melissa 8 8 Photo 23: Myrrh 8 96 .

The Essential Oils 8 Photo 24: Orange (Sweet) 8 8 Photo 25: Palmarosa 8 8 Photo 26: Patchouli 8 8 Photo 27: Peppermint 8 97 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 28: Petitgrain and Neroli oil8 8 Photo 29: Pine 8 8 Photo 30: Rose 8 98 8 Photo 31: Rosemary 8 .

The Essential Oils 8 Photo 32: Rosewood 8 8 Photo 33: Sandalwood 8 8 Photo 34: Tangerine 8 8 Photo 35: Teatree 8 99 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 37: Ylang Ylang 8 8 Photo 36: Vetivert 8 100 .

it is important to consider the biosynthesis of the plant. in this chapter we will consider the basics of chemistry that are relevant to an aromatherapist. Before looking at the individual compounds that make up an essential oil.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy CHAPTER 5 A typical essential oil comprises over 100 chemical compounds. 101 . Many of the chemical compounds contained within essential oils are hard to detect and some are present only in minute quantities. green plants have specialised mechanisms that are capable of synthesising complex carbohydrates from simple starting materials such as hydrogen. The energy required by plants to carry out these tasks comes entirely from the sun. in order to understand the therapeutic properties of essential oils. which is the term used to describe the building up of complex organic compounds. this process is known as photosynthesis. making chemistry of essential oils a complex subject to study. carbon and oxygen. Within their structures. Chemical synthesis requires energy. along with their potential hazards. The chemical make-up of an essential oil generally reflects its therapeutic effects and toxicology. and therefore has an extremely complex chemical structure. under the influence of sunlight. from which the essential oil is derived. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > the basic principles of organic chemistry > the classifications of essential oil compounds > examples of common chemical constituents of essential oils > basic chemical structures in relation to essential oils > common analytical techniques used in the identification of the chemical constituents of an essential oil. > A competent aromatherapist needs a basic knowledge of chemistry. can build up carbohydrates from the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere and hydrogen from the water in the soil. Photosynthesis is the process by which a plant.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The Biosynthesis Pathway of Essential Oils The biochemical steps by which larger complex organic compounds are synthesised from carbohydrates is as follows: > The pathway originates in plants where carbon dioxide and oxygen are converted into a six-carbon sugar Glucose (C6H12O6). These are the bulk of the compounds found in essential oils. synthesises a plethora of aromatic carbohydrates. This is a hydrocarbon compound. Mevalonic acid is then converted into a compound known as a terpene. which. This result is a compound called pyruvic acid (C3H4O3). CO2 & H2O Photosynthesis Carbohydrates Pyruvic Acid Acetic Acid Mevalonic Acid Terpenes 102 8 Figure 3: Flow chart 8 . > Glucose is then split into two three-carbon compounds through an oxidation reaction in which hydrogen atoms are lost. > Pyruvic acid is then further broken down to acetic acid (C2H4O2). Mevalonic acid has been found to be the root source of many molecular compounds found in essential oils. through a series of reduction and oxidation reactions. Acetic acid molecules are very important to the synthesis of essential oils as they are converted via a series of condensation (removal of H2O) and reduction reactions to a compound called mevalonic acid.

these contain hydrogen. 103 . it is at the heart of all that we are and all of the materials around us. as well as the environment within the plant itself. such as carbon dioxide. Lactones. > Oxygenated compounds the second major category of compounds. Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry Aromatherapists are the ‘end users’ of the essential oils. carbon and oxygen are the building blocks of essential oils. There are therefore two different classifications of essential oil compounds: > Hydrocarbons the first major category of compounds. It is therefore appropriate to consider the basic chemistry of carbon (C). and are classified under different chemical types such as Acids. as carbon dioxide (CO2) is the base material used to construct all the body of plants. Alcohols. Note: the compounds listed above are found throughout nature and are not exclusive to the world of aromatherapy and essential oils. Ketones. Plants have an amazing ability to synthesise chemical substances. they are joined together. but it is important to appreciate that before they undertake their work the plant has been produced from very simple building blocks such as light. and as mentioned above. Esters. Chemical Structure of Essential Oils There are two main building blocks for the chemical structure of essential oils. and without it the world would be a very different place. these contain molecules of hydrogen and carbon only and are classified as Terpenes. essential oil extracted from plant materials can contain several hundred chemical constituents. water and light. Hydrogen.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy Key Note It is important for aromatherapists to realise that the final molecular content of an essential oil is very much dependent on the source and availability of its original ingredients. that is. which means that they all contain the element carbon. Compounds are formed when atoms are bonded. Essential oils are organic compounds. carbon and also oxygen. Carbon is a very useful element. and each of these elements is itself made up of atoms and molecules – the building blocks of the universe: > atoms are the smallest units of any element > molecules are the smallest units of a compound. carbon dioxide and water. Aldehydes. Oxides and Phenols.

Common examples of sesquiterpenes include chamazulene (found in the Chamomiles). Rings can form from three carbon atoms but most are comprised of five or six atoms. the potential to form rings increases. Common examples of monoterpenes include limonene (found in Lemon. They are based on the isoprene unit. see Figure 4. Sesquiterpenes are a less common chemical component of essential oils. bisabolene (found in Black Pepper and Lemon). They have weak. It is not surprising that from these basic elements it is possible to build a vast array of compounds. 8 Figure 6: Limonene (monoterpene) 8 > Sesquiterpenes atoms of sesquiterpenes contain 15 carbon atoms and are therefore made up of three isoprene units. The prefix ‘sesqui’ means ‘one and a half ’. Monoterpenes are found in practically all essential oils. nitrogen (N). Marjoram and Clary Sage). Neroli and Orange). forming what is known as an aromatic ring. are very volatile and readily oxidise. Terpenes These contain less than the maximum number of hydrogen atoms. 104 . which is a five-carbon compound. sulphur (S) as basic molecular building blocks. as they are made up of two isoprene units. sometimes they join together in a ring. and are referred to as ‘unsaturated’. uninteresting odours. They have a strong odour and can have an important influence on the fragrance of an essential oil. 8 Figure 5: Aromatic ring 8 Organic chemistry (the chemistry of compounds containing carbon) also utilises oxygen (O). and pinene (found in Cypress and Eucalyptus). Carbon atoms do not always join together in a branched chain. CH2 CH2 C CH2 CH2 8 Figure 4: Isoprene unit 8 > Aromatic rings another feature of carbon chemistry is the ability to form rings. There are two main types of terpene of interest to an aromatherapist: > Monoterpenes all molecules of monoterpenes contain ten carbon units. and caryophyllene (found in Lavender. Bergamot.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > Isoprene unit these structures are made up of five carbon compounds in a branched chain. As the chain length increases.

105 . Common examples of acids found in essential oils include benzoic acid in Benzoin. They contain the chemical functional group OH. Acids This category of organic compounds is a rare component of essential oils. Structurally they are based on the carboxyl group and have the chemical grouping COOH.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy 8 Figure 7: Bisabolene (sesquiterpene) 8 Oxygenated Compounds Key Note It is important to remember that it is the odour of oxygenated compounds and sesquiterpenes that determine the fragrance characteristics of essential oils. They are referred to as terpene derivatives and are classified on the basis of which type of terpene was involved in their production: > Monoterpenic alcohols these are the most common type of alcohols found in essential oils. Examples include linalool (found in Rosewood). and geraniol (found in Geranium). Acids have a low volatility rate. COOH 8 Figure 8: Benzoic acid 8 Alcohols These are based on monoterpenes and therefore contain ten carbon atoms. and geranic acid in Geranium.

and geranyl acetate (found in Sweet Marjoram). linalool is converted to linalyl acetate. CH2OH 8 Figure 10: Citronellol (aldehyde) 8 Esters These are very important constituents of essential oils. Common examples of aldehydes in essential oils include citronellol (found in Citronella). Aldehydes This category of organic compounds is a common essential oil component. For example. Some aldehydes are used as skin irritants and sensitisers. and citral (found in Lemongrass). They are produced from the corresponding terpene alcohol and an organic acid.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition OH 8 Figure 9: Linalool (monoterpenic alcohol) 8 > Sesquiterpenic alcohols these are not so common and are based on the sesquiterpenes as the name suggests. and is based on the carbonyl group (C ϭ O). Clary Sage and Lavender). OCOCH3 8 Figure 11: Linalyl acetate (ester) 8 106 . The highest levels of esters are produced on the full bloom of the flower or the maturity of the fruit or plant. Aldehydes have a slightly fruity odour when the odour is smelt on its own. A common example of a sesquiterpenic alcohol is santalol (found in Sandalwood). Common examples of esters found in essential oils include linalyl acetate (found in Bergamot. and are based on the carboxyl group (COOH). bergamot: as the fruit begins to ripen.

8 cineole (oxide) 8 Phenols This category of aromatic molecules is similar to the alcohols in that they have an —OH group.8 cineole (found in Eucalyptus). and their chemical structure is such that the oxygen atom in the molecule is situated between two carbon atoms: C—O—C. A common example of an oxide found in essential oils is cineole. O 8 Figure 12: Camphor (ketone) 8 Lactones These are found mainly in expressed oils. and bergaptene is the most common molecular example. which explains why essential oils containing a high proportion of phenols can be irritating to the skin.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy Ketones These are potentially toxic compounds and are similar in structure to aldehydes. The significance of the OH group is that it makes the phenol molecule very reactive. and camphor (found in Rosemary). in its most common form it is known as 1. 107 . They tend to be non-hazardous. however. the OH group attaches itself to carbon in an aromatic ring. Common examples of ketones found in essential oils include fenchone (found in Fennel). O O C O O CH3 8 Figure 13: Bergaptene (furocoumarin-lactone) 8 Oxides These chemical compounds are rarely found in essential oils. In phenols. 0 8 Figure 14: 1. being based on the carbonyl group (C ϭ O). A sub-group of lactones called furocoumarins is known as photosensitisers.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Common examples of essential oils containing phenols include: thymol (found in Thyme). Cinnamon Leaf and Black Pepper). Chemotypes The same plant grown in different regions and under different conditions can produce essential oils of widely diverse characteristics. and eugenol (found in Clove. Chemotypes are quite common. It is also possible that minor or trace constituents may contribute to the therapeutic properties more than the major constituents. A vast array of different compounds can be made by adding carbon atoms together. and essential oils will naturally vary from season to season due to the following factors: > condition and type of soil in which the plant is grown > region or country from which the oil was sourced > method of extraction > climate and conditions such as altitude. as the whole essential oil is more active than its principal constituents. and that essential oils are made by living plants. It can therefore be concluded that the combination and concentration of its chemical constituents reflect an essential oil’s individual and collective properties. All chemical compounds have widely varying properties and therefore it is virtually impossible to generalise about the therapeutic properties based only on the properties of the known chemical constituents. its shape and the concentration of chemical constituents within the oil will therefore confer its individual and collective properties. OH 8 Figure 15: Thymol 8 Summary The two most important points are that carbon is at the heart of all essential oils. The size of a molecule. and this is increased further when we add other atoms like oxygen. even though they are obtained from plants that are botanically identical. Chemical Compounds and Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oils Different essential oils have varying therapeutic properties according to their molecular content. 108 . Variations in the chemical constituents of the oil occur and are known as chemotypes. cavacrol (found in Thyme). The word ‘chemotype’ is also used to indicate oils of different chemical composition.

The term chromatography simply means the separation of the components of a mixture. This may be due to a number of factors: > minor trace constituents may have therapeutic benefits > the total benefit conferred by the whole oil is greater than the sum of its individual components > little is known about the pharmacological actions of all the constituents present within an essential oil > it is difficult to produce a synthetic. the natural chemistry of an essential oil will not be present in exactly the same proportions at each distillation. simpler mixture of oils until all the individual and additive effects can be scientifically documented. the GC apparatus comprises the following components: > the column (typically 1–60 metres long). analytical technique capable of identifying all the constituents chemically. The various pigments were separated into coloured bands. Techniques used in Essential Oil Analysis It is generally accepted that the quality and ‘wholeness’ of an essential oil used in aromatherapy is fundamental to its therapeutic efficacy. hence the name chromatography (‘chromo’ is Greek for colour). Apparatus In its most basic form. due to the fact that all chemical components are of different molecular size. it is possible to ‘fingerprint’ an oil and compare it to a known reference. The amount of time taken for each chemical compound to emerge at the other end of the column (known as the retention time) is different. there is no perfect single. 109 .2–5 µl). typically 0. Method > A small amount of essential oil is injected into the port to be analysed. which is coated with a thin film of liquid > an oven that houses the column and is capable of working within the temperature range 40–450 ЊC > an injection port (the means of placing the essential oil into the column) > a detector (the means of ‘seeing’ the products of the GC separation) > a syringe (capable of injecting very small quantities.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy Key Note Due to the variations in climate and soil. Unfortunately. known simply as GC. However. A Russian botanist called Michael Tswett (1872–1919) was the grandfather of modern chromatography. He discovered basic principles of column chromatography when separating plant pigments. Gas Liquid Chromatography The technique commonly used in essential oils analysis is Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC). if a reputable analytical laboratory is employed using validated methods. This explains why essential oils vary from batch to batch.

provided that a pure single component sample is also analysed. which relates proportionally to its quantity. However. This process forms the basis of fingerprinting an essential oil. The latest carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy provides an alternative method of essential oil analysis. and can be used to assign its identity. 110 . > The quantity of each chemical component is then analysed by the detector and a peak is shown on the trace. Computer displaying the detector response Syringe Column (coiled up) Injection port In ‘Detector’ Out Direction of flow Oven 8 Figure 16: Gas Chromatograph 8 The retention time of a given component is a character of that component. if the individual identity is not known. the analysis can be carried out and the whole chromatogram can be compared to a reference oil known to be of high quality. Examples of two types of detector commonly used are: > flame ionisation detector (FID) > mass spectrometer.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > The interaction of the sample components with the gas phase and the liquid phase achieves the separation. they produce complex chromatograms. which includes qualitative and quantitative analysis data of 60 commercially important essential oils and 188 of the most important chemical constituents found in essential oils. The efficient visual spacing of the signals enables essential oil samples to be analysed without the preliminary separation of their components. An excellent reference is Essential Oil Analysis by Capillary Gas Chromatography and Carbon-13 NMR Spectroscopy 2nd Edition (ISBN 0-471-96314-3). The choice of detector used will influence the quality of the data collected. as some detectors can produce accurate quantitative data and others can identify the individual chemicals. Because essential oils contain several chemical functional groups and have high carbon numbers.

However. Essential Oils and a Question of Purity It is generally accepted that in aromatherapy wholeness and quality of essential oils are of paramount importance. it is important to preserve wholeness to guard against its natural synergy. but is a comparative test. such as the perfumery industry. however. as essential oils are adjusted to suit the desired aromas. standardisation is important. not only is the synergy diminished but also isolated components may need greater care when used alone and may produce side effects. In other trades that use essential oils. In aromatherapy. as the components that make up an essential oil co-operate to produce its healing effects.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy Key Note Gas Chromatography is not a guaranteed test of purity. which is the ‘standard’. each batch tested is compared to a known reference. 111 . which seemed to be quenched when used in the whole oil. When single active compounds are removed from an essential oil. it is possible to highlight adulterants that are not evident on the ‘standard’.

Commonly found as essential oil components. Very important constituents of essential oils. Contain ten carbon units and are therefore made up of two isoprene units. Are referred to as terpene derivatives. which attaches itself to a carbon in an aromatic ring. Less common components of essential oils. The structure of these compounds is that the oxygen atom in the molecule is situated between two carbon atoms C—O—C. potentially toxic compounds. These compounds contain 15 carbon atoms and are made up of three isoprene units. Can be irritating to the skin. Rare components of essential oil. Contain the functional group OH. Found rarely in essential oils. Based on the carboxyl group (C ϭ O). Produced from the corresponding terpene alcohol and organic acid. Mainly found in expressed oil. Based on carboxyl group (COOH). Based on carbonyl group (C—O). Similar in structure to aldehydes. Contain the sub group furocoumarins. have an important influence on the fragrance of an essential oil. Chemical compounds Description Based on the carboxyl group (COOH). which are photo-sensitisers. Found in practically all essential oils. Some may be skin irritants and sensitisers.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Task Complete the following table to identify the following chemical compounds of essential oils. 8 Table 4: Chemical compounds of essential oils 8 112 . Contain ten carbon atoms and the chemical functional group OH. have a low volatility rate.

2. State the two classifications of essential oil components. Name the chemical elements that represent the basic building blocks for essential oils. What is meant by the term chemotype? 5. 3.Basic Chemistry for Aromatherapy Self-assessment Questions 1. and their sub classifications. 4. What is Gas Chromatography? 113 . Describe the two main chemical structures that form the main building blocks for essential oils.

Why is it impossible to analyse all chemical constituents of an essential oil? 114 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 6.

The Absorption of Essential Oils into the Bloodstream In aromatherapy. and via the respiratory system. 115 . The skin As the skin is the largest surface area for the application of essential oils. > A competent aromatherapist needs to understand the effects of aromatherapy to appreciate the principles upon which it works. The effects of aromatherapy upon the body are so diverse because essential oils have three distinct modes of action: > they initiate chemical changes in the body when the essential oil enters the bloodstream and reacts with hormones and enzymes > they have a physiological effect on the systems of the body > they have a psychological effect when the odour of the oil is inhaled. The way in which aromatherapy works is often subject to a degree of debate as to whether essential oils work because of their chemical constituents or because of their route of administration. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > how essential oils enter the bloodstream > the process of olfaction > the effects of aromatherapy on the major systems of the body. such as massage. there are two ways in which essential oils may be absorbed into the bloodstream for therapeutic effect: through the skin and via respiration. it represents the most common route for absorbing essential oils into the bloodstream for therapeutic effect.The Physiology of Aromatherapy CHAPTER 6 In aromatherapy there are two ways in which essential oils may be absorbed into the bloodstream to have therapeutic effects: through the skin.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The skin is divided into two main layers: > the upper. which contains appendages such as the hair. Factors that can enhance the absorption of essential oils include: > Stimulation and increased blood flow (via massage). Essential oils are made up of tiny organic molecules that enable them to penetrate the skin and cross the horny layer of the epidermis. Essential oils are absorbed through the skin by simple diffusion. > The condition of the client’s skin (excess fat. most superficial layer. hair follicles. which is divided into five layers: horny layer. clear layer. dermis. sebaceous glands and an abundance of blood vessels that provide vital nourishment to the epidermis. The rate of absorption of essential oils may be dependent on several factors: > The composition of the oil (oils with a lower volatility rate will take longer to be absorbed). by entering the ducts of the sweat glands and hair follicles to reach the upper dermis and the capillary circulation. > The viscosity of the carrier oil/s. prickle cell layer and the basal cell layer > the deeper layer. and pass into the deeper layer of the skin (the dermis) where they are then carried by the blood and lymph vessels into the main bloodstream. sluggish circulation and excess tissue toxication will slow down absorption). granular layer. oedema. as the skin is semipermeable and essential oils contain constituents that are primarily fat-soluble and partially water-soluble. Absorption through sweat glands Absorption through hair follicle Capillary network of the epidermis Sweat gland Absorption into blood stream Blood vessels 8 Figure 17: The absorption of essential oils into the skin 8 116 . The fat-soluble aromatic particles of the essential oil dissolve in the oily sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. sweat glands. the epidermis.

The Physiology of Aromatherapy > Heat (treatment room should be comfortably warm and clients should be covered and kept warm after the massage in order to aid absorption). 117 . the viscosity (thickness) of the carrier oil used and the volatility rate of the essential oils. Lemon. > Essential oils can help to calm and soothe the skin. for example Geranium can be used to help both dry and oily skins. > Clean skin (clients should ideally come for treatment pre-showered with all body creams and lotions removed). for example Lavender. antibacterial and anti-fungal. examples of this are cytophylactic oils such as Lavender and Neroli. Key Note The top layer of the epidermis (the horny layer) acts as a reservoir where essential oils components can continue for several hours. > The amount of essential oil molecules reaching the bloodstream will be greatly enhanced by encouraging the client to breathe deeply throughout an aromatherapy massage. Care must therefore be taken to avoid application of essential oils to broken skin. for example Chamomile. Aromatherapy can help the skin in the following ways: > Aromatherapy massage increases the absorption rate of essential oils into the skin. > Client may also be encouraged to carry out dry skin brushing prior to an aromatherapy massage in order to remove the dead keratinised layer of the skin. > Essential oils can help to regulate the skin by balancing the secretion of sebum. Much depends on the surface area to which essential oils are applied. which penetrate the skin due to their small molecular size. Bergamot and Teatree. in order to prevent skin irritation and sensitisation. > Essential oils can help to enhance the protective function of the skin due to the fact that many essential oils are antiseptic. The rate of absorption of essential oils into the skin increases greatly if the skin is damaged. Essential oils diffuse through the skin at different rates and in certain cases can take up to 90 minutes to be absorbed into the bloodstream. which is anti-inflammatory. > Essential oils can help the skin’s cells to regenerate.

The amount of essential oil absorbed into the bloodstream can be measured by analysis of exhaled breath. the larynx. The absorption of essential oils into the bloodstream via the respiratory system is slower and more diffusive than any other form of application.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The respiratory system Respiration is one of the most basic functions of the body. The capillaries surrounding the alveoli join up to form venules and arterioles. so that the process of diffusion can take place. only a single layer thick. Key Note The actual amount of essential oil dissolved into the bloodstream depends on the volatility and chemical structure of the oil concerned. It passes through the pharynx. it may be more effective to use an inhalation where the physical condition would contra-indicate massage. The function of this very large expanse of film is to allow the exchange of gases between the air in the lungs and the blood in the bloodstream. as in the case of a client with a heavy cold. After passing through the nose where it has been warmed. which help to prevent infections of the respiratory tract 118 . which in turn join up to form larger veins and arteries. the trachea and into the bronchi. Bergamot. The inhaled air carrying the essential oil particles is able to pass through these thin layers after being dissolved in the surface moisture. Each bronchiole then divides into alveoli – these are composed of a very thin membrane of simple epithelium. due to the fact that the oils are constantly being removed from the bloodstream by one or more exit pathways. Sandalwood. Eucalyptus and Teatree. Each cluster of alveoli is surrounded by a very rich network of capillaries and a moist membrane. essential oil particles can diffuse into the bloodstream. each bronchus divides and subdivides into smaller tubes called bronchioles. Within the lungs. Therefore. Lemon. moistened and filtered. Through the process of gas exchange in the lungs. and essential oils will not build up high levels of concentration (as long as sensible proportions are used). however. the inhaled air (carrying aromatic particles of an essential oil) continues its journey towards the lungs. In some cases. which can help promote good breathing by clearing the lungs and allowing the interchange of gases to occur more efficiently. Essential oils that have an affinity for the respiratory system include: > antiseptic oils such as Lavender. blood and urine samples. Juniper. any substance inhaled with the air will be involved in this complete process of gas exchange. Aromatherapy massage can help the respiratory systems if suitable oils are combined. Differing amounts of aromatic particles of essential oil will therefore be dissolved into the bloodstream from the lungs.

The Physiology of Aromatherapy Olfactory area in brain Olfactory nerves (in top of nasal cavity) Essential oil Air + Nose smells it Pharynx Larynx Trachea Bronchi Bronchioles Alveoli Capillaries Arteries Heart Veins Waste excretion via skin and kidneys 8 Figure 18: The journey of an essential oil 8 119 .

The process of olfaction may be summarised as follows: Reception > The volatile particles of an essential oil evaporate on contact with air (some volatile molecules pervade the air and some enter the nose). which is directly connected to the limbic area. The Theory of Olfaction Olfaction is a special sense in that odour perception is transmitted directly to the brain. Transmission > The captivated aromatic molecules are picked up by the cilia. prior to their stimulation at the receptor sites. > The olfactory receptor cells have a long nerve fibre called an axon and an electrochemical message of the aroma is transmitted along the axons of receptor cells to join the olfactory nerves. Peppermint and Sandalwood. which are effective in helping viral infections of the respiratory tract > antispasmodic oils such as Clary Sage. 120 . Perception > Once the message reaches the olfactory bulb. > The odiferous particles of the essential oil dissolve in the mucus that lines the inner nasal cavity. which protrude from the olfactory receptor cells (located at the top of the nasal cavity). > The temporal lobe of the brain contains the primary olfactory area. Teatree and Eucalyptus. the olfactory impulses pass into the olfactory tract and pass directly to the cerebral cortex where the smell is perceived. > The fibres of the olfactory nerves pass through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone in the roof of the nose to reach the olfactory bulb where the odorant signal is chemically converted before being relayed to the brain.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > antiviral oils such as Lavender. Peppermint and Frankincense can help to calm spasms in the bronchial tubes > expectorants that are most effective in the removal of excess phlegm incude Eucalpytus.

However. the passing on of messages or impulses about the environment is done through the spinal cord and from there on to the brain. in the case of the olfactory cells. In most nerves of the body. 8 Figure 19: The theory of olfaction 8 121 . which is situated in the cerebral cortex. the nerve fibres pass through a bony plate at the top of the nose and connect directly with the area of the brain known as the olfactory bulb.The Physiology of Aromatherapy Key Note Smell is the only sense that has a direct access route to the brain. As the cilia are in direct contact with the source of smell and as the olfactory receptor cells connect directly with the brain. the sense of smell has a powerful and immediate effect on the body.

part of the thalamus and the hypothalamus. In relation to olfaction. It processes much of this input. called the septum pellicidum. and includes the amalygdae. the hippocampus helps us to link that odour to its ‘memory bank’. to determine whether it is a familiar fragrance and. Electrical impulses applied to this part of the brain have evoked happiness in depressed persons. and channels it to the cerebral cortex. 8 Figure 20: The limbic system 8 122 . The amygdalae are located symmetrically in the limbic system just above the hypothalamus in the anterior tip of the temporal lobes. It is thought that the amygdala works with the hypothalamus to mediate emotional responses. hippocampus. pain relief in cancer sufferers and intensification of sexual arousal in some people. is said to be the pleasure centre. The anterior part of the limbic system is in the olfactory cortex. It forms connections with the brain stem below and the cerebrum above and allows for a balance and integration of emotion and reason. which related memories are brought forward into our conscious awareness. with one located in each temporal lobe of the brain. visual. balance and equilibrium systems. auditory. Another part of the limbic system. see Figure 20(a).Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The Limbic System The limbic system is a v-shaped structure sitting on top of the brain stem. which explains the intimate relationship between smells and emotions. if so. The hippocampus is involved in memory function and is a paired organ. certain odours may precipitate varied emotions from pleasure to rage and aggression. The limbic system receives sensory input from the olfactory.

The blood circulates around the body at a surprisingly fast speed. e. which ingest foreign bodies as the lymph (colourless fluid containing white blood cells) passes through the nodes. excreted through the skin as sweat or returned to the lungs to be exhaled with the breath. Some essential oils have affinities with certain organs or systems. sadness and sexual feelings. emotions like rage. Functionally. see Figure 20(b). they can take effect very quickly. sensations of pleasure and pain. hormones. The lymph nodes act as filtering stations and are densely packed with the lymphocytes. The complexity of the limbic systems and the direct link between the olfactory receptor cells and the limbic area of the brain explain why smell can effect an emotional response and recall a memory from the past. It is the major seat of our emotions.g. All chemical substances that need to be transported around the body are carried by the blood. which is why olfactory sensory receptors can influence endocrine function. and will have a special effect on that organ or system when at that point in its circulating journey. The Circulatory System The heart is a pump that constantly distributes blood to and from the lungs and all around the body in a double circuit.The Physiology of Aromatherapy The limbic system has multiple connections with the thalamus. 123 . How aromatherapy can help the circulatory system Combining essential oils with aromatherapy massage techniques can help our circulatory system to work more efficiently by stimulating the circulation. others will exercise a more general effect. The Lymphatic System The lymphatic system has three main functions: > Drainage of excess fluid from the body cells and tissues extra cellular fluid from the tissue is absorbed into the lymphatic vessels and is carried away to the lymph nodes to be cleansed before entering the bloodstream via the subclavian veins. Whatever part of the essential oil is left after its therapeutic work in the body has been done. hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It may be passed out of the body in urine or faeces. which help to ingest and neutralise invading bacteria. and is linked to the perception of odour. the limbic system is a complex structure that has approximately 34 structures and 53 pathways. fear. but can also help to relieve tension (which puts undue stress on the system and restricts the blood flow). The oils will be either wholly or partly deposited in any organs for which they have a special affinity. For example: > Lavender is a heart sedative and can help to reduce palpitations and lower blood pressure > Lemon is a tonic to the circulation and can help to liquefy the blood > Neroli can aid a poor circulation due to its depurative effect (blood cleaning). will be excreted by one path or another. This means that when substances such as essential oil particles are dissolved into the bloodstream. > Fighting infection the lymph nodes manufacture lymphocytes and generate antibodies. as scent memory is longer-term than visual memory. taking about a half minute to complete a circuit.

Rosemary and Thyme. > Essential oils can help to increase the production of white blood cells to stimulate immunity. > All essential oils are antiseptic and bactericidal to some extent. e. Bergamot. e. the products of fat digestion pass into the lymphatic system via intestinal lymphatic vessels called the lacteals. Lavender. These chemicals can influence parts of the body that are often quite distant from the point of secretion. There are many similarities between an essential oil and a hormone: > both contain chemical compounds > both are transported by the bloodstream > both can help to regulate body processes 124 . Lemon.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > Absorption and distribution of fat-soluble nutrients upon reaching the small intestine. Lemon.g. Aromatherapy places particular importance upon the lymphatic system in that it helps to facilitate several actions: > stimulates immunity > encourages the flow of lymph from the tissues and into the circulatory system > prevents oedema > reduces the viscosity of blood > reduces generalised swelling in the tissues > stimulates the absorption of waste material from the tissues. Chamomile. Sandalwood and Teatree are probably the most effective in relation to these properties.g. Lavender. Aromatherapy can help the lymphatic system in the following ways: > Diuretic essential oils help to accelerate lymph and tissue fluid circulation. but Chamomile. Black Pepper. The Endocrine System The endocrine system is a highly sophisticated system of communication and co-ordination. Rosemary and Ginger. > Essential oils help stimulate the circulatory system. The endocrine glands that make up the system each secrete chemicals (hormones) into the bloodstream. e. Clove. Lemon. Juniper and Geranium. which governs many body processes. The main endocrine glands include the following: > pituitary gland > thyroid gland > parathyroid glands > adrenal glands > the islets of langerhans > ovaries > testes. Fennel.g.

and transmit the impulses to the spinal cord and brain > motor nerves. consisting of nerves that carry messages to and from the central nervous system. Lavender and Ylang Ylang all help to lower blood pressure. They act as triggers. which is the control centre and consists of a two-way communication system of the brain and the spinal cord > the peripheral system. The central nervous system The functional unit of the nervous system is a neurone or nerve. They can act on the body in the same way as a hormone. The Nervous System The nervous system is the main communication system for the body and works intimately with the endocrine system to regulate body processes. It has two main divisions: > the central nervous system. Geranium helps to stimulate the adrenal cortex.The Physiology of Aromatherapy > both affect our physical and psychological well-being > both can have a direct or an indirect effect on the body. which receive stimuli from sensory organs and receptors. 125 . which conduct nerve impulses away from the central nervous system towards muscles and glands. Essential oils appear to act on the endocrine system and on various body functions regulated by the endocrine system. For example. in that they directly affect a target organ or tissue. For example. as well as helping with female reproductive problems. in two ways: > directly > indirectly. stimulating the production of a hormone or a balancing agent. which may either help to raise or reduce the amount of a hormone that is being produced. and there are two main types of nerve impulses: > sensory nerves. to stimulate them into action. Direct effect Certain essential oils contain plant hormones or phytohormones. Rose and Jasmine have a direct effect on the reproductive system and have been used to help stimulate contraction of the uterus in labour. thereby restoring the endocrine system to a more balanced state. the essential oil of Fennel contains a form of oestrogen in its structure and therefore can be effective for female problems such as pre-menstrual syndrome and the menopause. Indirect effect Essential oils can influence the hormone secretion of the various glands. which will indirectly influence the secretion of the corticoid hormones: Clary Sage.

The most important areas of the brain for aromatherapy are therefore: > the olfactory bulb in the cerebral cortex. Each has two thin branches that link it with the autonomic nervous system. It serves as an interface between the mind. along the nerve pathways up the central nervous system to the brain. the sensory stimulus of touch and pressure will be received by the sensory receptors in the skin. related to emotions and memory > the hypothalamus regulates other body functions through its control of the endocrine system and autonomic nervous system. the nervous system and endocrine systems.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note In aromatherapy massage. The Peripheral Nervous System The peripheral nervous system is made up of the parts of the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord. thirst. sexual response and is also closely involved with our emotions and sleep patterns. Sensory impulses are important for the success of aromatherapy treatment as they will convey both the aroma and the touch associated with massage. where they will be perceived by the limbic system. and smell will be received by the olfactory receptor cells in the top of the nasal cavity. Key Note The hypothalamus is a structure at the base of the brain and is linked with the rest of the brain and the pituitary gland by a complex network of nerve pathways. Spinal nerves receive sensory impulses from the body and transmit motor signals to specific regions of the body. It comprises: > 31 pairs of spinal nerves > 12 pairs of cranial nerves > the autonomic nervous system The 31 pairs of spinal nerves pass out of the spinal cord. It controls hunger. By stimulating the spinal nerves through aromatherapy massage. communication 126 . perceives the aroma > the limbic system known as the ‘smell brain’. temperature.

Lavender. The Musculo-skeletal System Aromatherapy can be effective on both the muscular and skeletal system in the following ways: > Analgesic essential oils such as Lavender. helping to promote flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. > Peppermint. Jasmine. Chamomile. bones and joints. Clary Sage. Key Note In cases where an area may be too painful to massage. Lemon and Rosemary have a stimulating effect on the nervous system. digestive. Rosemary and Marjoram can aid the relaxation of tense and painful muscle fibres. Chamomile. Neroli. it may be preferable to use a compress to help reduce inflammation. swelling and pain. > Rufebacient essential oils such as Rosemary and Black Pepper can assist in increasing the blood supply to the soft tissues. > Detoxifying essential oils such as Lemon and Juniper can assist in eliminating waste products such as lactic acid and uric acid from the tissues. Examples of essential oils that have an affinity for the nervous system include the following: > Bergamot. sensory.The Physiology of Aromatherapy can be made with many of the organs of the body (respiratory. 127 . Sweet Marjoram and Ylang Ylang are sedatives and have a calming effect on the central nervous system. > Anti-inflammatory essential oils such as Chamomile and Lavender can help to reduce inflammation around joints. Juniper. Marjoram and Rosemary are nerve tonics and help to strengthen the nervous system. > Chamomile. Aromatherapy can help the nervous system by: > reducing nervous tension and helping stress-related conditions > inducing relaxation > stimulating the nerves to clear congestion in the nerves and thereby improve the functioning of related organs and tissues. tendons and ligaments. urinary and reproductive) and any blockages and weaknesses in the nerve pathways can be assisted to clear. Lavender.

Type of Skin Essential oils that may be effective on the system Respiratory Blood Circulation Lymphatic Endocrine Nervous Musculo-skeletal 8 Table 5: Essential oils and systems of the body 8 128 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Task Complete the following table to illustrate which essential oils may be effective for the following systems.

2. List the principal parts of the olfactory system. 129 . Explain briefly the two main ways in which essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream for therapeutic effect.The Physiology of Aromatherapy Self-assessment Questions 1.

4. 130 . Briefly explain the process of olfaction. State five similarities between essential oils and hormones.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 3. How can a smell stimulate an emotional response within the brain? 5.

The purpose of an aromatherapy consultation is to enable the aromatherapist to: > establish whether the client is suitable for treatment or whether a medical referral is required > establish the need for any special care. while at the same time building a good rapport and level of trust with a client. which may involve an adaptation of treatment and oils used > develop a good rapport with the client 131 . > A competent aromatherapist will develop good communication and client-handling skills. The initial consultation allows the aromatherapist to determine as far as possible the client’s needs and will establish whether treatment is appropriate or whether referral to another professional should be the next course of action. and plan a treatment to suit their needs. in order to elicit as much information as possible. and should be holistic in its approach. and best results are gained through co-operation and good communication between both parties. the aromatherapist may then select and blend oils based upon the client’s physical and emotional condition. From the information elicited from the consultation. The Purpose of a Consultation A consultation is the first line of communication between the client and the aromatherapist. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > relevant factors to be discussed during an aromatherapy consultation to identify clients’ needs > how to keep full and accurate records > professional etiquette in handling referral data > guidelines on detailing case studies.The Aromatherapy Consultation CHAPTER 7 A consultation is a very important part of the whole aromatherapy treatment.

S/he will listen carefully to what the client says and empathise with their problems. If any doubt exists about the health of the client and their suitability for treatment. If the client gives permission. everything will contribute to the overall picture of the client. NO treatment should be carried out until medical approval has been granted. they should be referred to their medical practitioner. it is professional etiquette to keep him/her informed of the progress of the client.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > explain what aromatherapy is. It is essential. while also helping them to accept responsibility for their problems. Key Note If a consultation has been undertaken and a specific medical condition arises. A skilled aromatherapist will also be an accomplished listener. and whether aromatherapy treatment may progress. that the client is prepared to disclose 132 . a letter may be sent to the client’s GP asking for further information regarding the client’s condition. The aromatherapy treatment should always commence with a consultation. The aromatherapist will be aware of the client’s characteristics and body language from the moment the client walks in. along with any results arising from the treatment given. If the GP gives approval. Aromatherapists as professionals must do their utmost to ascertain the nature of any ailment or condition prior to treatment. A record of all communication should be made on the consultation noting the date the letter was sent and the date it was received. along with its benefits > identify the objectives of the treatment > agree a treatment plan with the client to suit their needs > answer the client’s questions and allay any fears regarding the nature of the treatment. and to accept help from the aromatherapist. it should be explained to the client why aromatherapy may not be carried out without a doctor’s referral. The information elicited from the consultation will form the basis upon which the aromatherapist makes a selection of appropriate oils to use for treatment. The client may wish to take the letter to their GP directly or may wish for the aromatherapist to communicate directly with the doctor by post. therefore.

as certain conditions may contra-indicate or restrict aromatherapy treatment. you will generally find that clients are more co-operative with their responses. otherwise they may become unable to help them. it is important for the aromatherapist to maintain a polite. Current medical treatment If the client is under GP or hospital care. See pages 135–138 for a sample consultation form. to enable the aromatherapist to choose suitable oils and avoid those that may be contra-indicated. the aromatherapist will need to ask the client personal questions. Key Note Whilst the aromatherapist should always have the client’s best interests at heart. Confidentiality It is very important that records of all consultations are kept confidentially.The Aromatherapy Consultation any relevant information regarding their health and condition. If you ask open questions. it is important to seat yourselves in a comfortable area. it is important to remember that consultations are ongoing. sensitive and professional manner and stress that the information is necessary to help establish how you can help them. Aromatherapists must remain professionally detached from the client’s problems at all times. both past and present. preferably out of earshot of others. it is important to remain positive about the treatment and not to become personally involved with the client’s problems. and will highlight the client’s present condition in order to establish the basis upon which the treatment will be formed. When asking questions of a personal nature. Try to turn the questions into more of a chat rather than sounding as if you are merely completing a form. When carrying out a consultation. to ensure that all client details that may affect the treatment are up to date. Each treatment should be planned individually on each treatment occasion. The main factors to be considered during the consultation include: Medical history It is important to know the client’s medical history. During a consultation. Although the initial consultation is generally the most important one for establishing the main factors relating to the client. and a GP referral may be needed prior to the commencement of treatment. The Consultation Form Consultation forms are used to record information regarding the client’s health. a GP referral will be necessary in order to establish the nature of the treatment and how it might affect the proposed aromatherapy treatment. and to maintain eye contact throughout. Maintaining client confidentiality will show a high degree of professionalism and will prevent embarrassment and loss of client loyalty. 133 . as this will personalise the treatment and relax the client. This should be explained to clients in order to reassure them.

as certain medications are incompatible with aromatherapy and may cause unpleasant side effects. Lifestyle A client’s lifestyle will play an important part in their general well-being. Record Keeping It is very important to ensure that a full consultation is undertaken with each client and that a record of each treatment is kept. Exercise undertaken is included under the heading of general lifestyle. Diet and nutrition It is important to have information regarding a typical daily diet of the client (including fluid levels). This may involve their general immunity. Information regarding the client’s job and home circumstances will often reflect the type of lifestyle they lead. it could lead to fluid retention. General health It is important that the client’s general health and well-being are discussed during the consultation. The treatment record should include the following information: > results from last treatment (if applicable) > proposed treatment plan (should take account of length of treatment. which gives the mind and body a chance to escape everyday stresses and to recuperate. All records should be kept confidentially and be accurate and up to date. Emotional state As our emotions can have a profound effect on the way we feel. which will all contribute to the overall picture of the client. For example. energy levels. By having an interest in a hobby. number of treatments and the availability of the client) > treatment objective > essential oils blended and reasons for use > dilution of essential oils used 134 . to ensure that they are eating the correct amount of nutrients for correct body functioning. stress levels and sleep patterns. areas for treatment. Alcohol consumption and smoking levels are important factors to know about. they may wish to feel uplifted or calmed and relaxed. as these will also affect the health of the client. GP referral may be necessary. Hobbies and relaxation It is important to discuss whether a client has time for a hobby and relaxation. a client is able to relax and unwind. a reduction in the efficiency of the lymphatic system and poor energy levels. it is important to establish the client’s emotional state prior to treatments as this may affect the selection of oils chosen. if the client undertakes no exercise. Malnutrition can put stress onto the body and lead to increased stress levels and irritability.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Medication It is necessary to ascertain the type of allopathic medicine prescribed.

: SH10 135 . Sarah was nervous about being touched and protective of her back. there are certain contraindications that require special attention. She tries to go to the gym at least twice a week (time and work permitting). See page 139 for a sample treatment sheet. Once she became accustomed to my touch. Whilst essential oils and massage are totally safe when administered professionally by an aromatherapist. no.The Aromatherapy Consultation > after care given > home care advice given (including blend of oils given to the client for home use) > outcome of treatment with regard to effectiveness > recommendations for future treatments. Conclusion During the first session. however. Date of initial consultation: 15 January 2003 GENERAL Name: SARAH HOBSON Address: 63 AVENUE ROAD. The treatments had a positive effect and she left my home glowing and relaxed. The following details will be treated in the strictest of confidence. It may. therefore her sleep patterns are irregular. AROMATHERAPY CONSULTATION FORM Client Note The following information is required for your safety and to benefit your health. be necessary for you to consult your GP before any aromatherapy treatment can be given. Case Study Sarah Hobson Introduction Sarah is an active 31-year-old Test Manager who enjoys playing softball and volleyball in the summer as well as going hiking.: 80489671 Client ref. Sarah decided that aromatherapy massage was definitely her favourite form of treatment. initially wriggling about when I touched her. Sarah has problems with her back and struggles to get comfortable at night. she relaxed and enjoyed the massages. HAMPSHIRE Telephone Number – Daytime: 80428260 Date of Birth: 31 July 1964 MEDICAL Name of Doctor: DR ORDON Address: LITTLETON LANE SOUTHWICK Evening: Occupation: TEST MANAGER Surgery: ST MARKS Tel No.

g.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Medical Details Do you have or have you ever suffered with any of the following: Circulatory disorder? N Heart condition? N High or low Blood Pressure? Y HIGH – MONITORED – STABLE NOW. cancer)? N Female clients Is it possible that you may be pregnant? N If pregnant. how many months (any history of miscarriage)? N/A Are you currently menstruating? N Number of pregnancies (with dates) – Are you currently under GP/hospital care? NO Current medical treatment NO Current medication (list dosages) NO GP Referral Required? Clearance form sent Clearance form received GENERAL HEALTH Is your general immunity/health Would you say your energy levels are Would you consider your stress levels to be Sleep patterns? HEALTH RELATED PROBLEMS Do you suffer with any of the following: GOOD / AVERAGE / POOR ? HIGH / AVERAGE / LOW ? HIGH / AVERAGE / LOW ? LIGHT SLEEPER – DIFFICULTY GETTING COMFORTABLE Yes ( ) Yes ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) No ( ) No (u) Date: Date: 136 . Thrombosis? N Varicose Veins? N Epilepsy? N Diabetes? N Dysfunction of the Nervous System? N Recent haemorrhage or swelling? N Recent operation/fracture/sprain? N Abdominal complaint? IBS Skin disorder? N A potentially fatal or terminal condition (e.

Cystitis / Thrush / Fluid Retention / Other? NO Nervous/Stress-related problems i. Anxiety / Depression / Headaches / Migraine / Insomnia / Nervous tension / Other? NO Female Clients Pre-menstrual Tension / Menopausal problems / Problems with periods? PAIN – LIKE CONTRACTIONS WEEPY – MORNING OF THE FIRST DAY Is there any other problem that has not been mentioned that you would like help with as part of this treatment? NO Summary of client’s main presenting problem/s LIFESTYLE Typical daily diet: CEREAL / BAGEL & HONEY FRUIT – APPLE / BANANA SALAD & SOUP / JACKET POTATO / SANDWICH FRUIT CEREAL / BAGEL 1/2–1 PINT OF MILK 137 .e.The Aromatherapy Consultation Skin Complaints i. Muscles. Constipation / Indigestion / Colitis / Candida / Other? IBS Urinary problems i. Nerves and Joints i.e. Arthritis / Muscular aches and pains / Chilblains / Oedema / Rheumatism / Sciatica / Other? DISLOCATED RIGHT SHOULDER – MARCH 2002 Respiratory problems i. Asthma / Breathing difficulties / Bronchitis / Throat infections.e.e. Allergies / Dermatitis / Eczema / Psoriasis / Other? INTOLERANCE – ONIONS Problems with Circulation.e. / Sinusitis / Colds / Flu / Other? SEASONAL Digestive problems i.e.

SOFTBALL HIKING HOT BATH (SOAK) Have you tried aromatherapy or any other complementary therapies before? (state when and what the results were) LAVENDAR SLEEP SACK Are you currently having any complementary treatment? (give details) PHYSIOTHERAPY CLIENT DECLARATION I declare that the information I have given is correct and as far as I am aware I can undertake treatment with this establishment without any adverse effects. if so how? VOLLEYBALL. Client’s Signature: Sarah Hobson Therapist’s Signature: Joanne Date: 15/1/03 Notes OVER-PRODUCTION OF STOMACH ACID – MEDICATION 1 MONTH 8 Figure 21: A sample consultation form 8 138 . I have been fully informed about contraindications and I am therefore willing to proceed with the treatment.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Number of glasses of water consumed daily: 7 Number of cups of tea/coffee per day: 3–4 Vitamins/minerals taken: COD LIVER OIL CAPSULES SEA KELP VITAMIN C Typical weekly alcohol consumption 10–15 UNITS Do you smoke? If so how many daily? YES 5 Type of exercise undertaken (and how frequently) TWICE WEEKLY GYM – AEROBIKE – CARDIOVASCULAR WALKING Do you have any hobbies? Do you relax regularly.

G Relaxed ALL 1% 8 Figure 22: A sample treatment sheet 8 139 . B. D. E Client was thirsty ALL 1% ϩ2% Jojoba 5 ml Sweet Almond 10 ml Sweet Almond 20 ml F. C. B. E F. D. E 1% ϩ2% Jojoba 5 ml Base Bubblebath 50 ml Wheatgerm 10 drops Sweet Almond 20 ml Jojoba 5 ml Avoid contact with eyes B The Aromatherapy Consultation 15/2/03 Relaxed and happy Relaxing Ͻ2% A. D. B. sleep muscle relaxant insomnia stress relief calming stress sedative skin care 1% A. B. G E Avoid contact with eyes Relaxed and floaty ALL 11/2/03 Relaxed Slept well Energised the following day Destress Massage Ͻ2% A.AROMATHERAPY TREATMENT RECORD CLIENT REFERENCE NUMBER: ___________________________________ Date Feedback from last treatment Treatment needs/ objectives Treatment plan (state method of application) Essential oils used (state no. G A. C. of drops) Jasmine ϭ 2 Orange ϭ 2 Frankincense ϭ 1 Ylang Ylang ϭ 1 Menstrual pain Oil Jasmine ϭ 3 Geranium ϭ 1 Grapefruit ϭ 3 Bergamot ϭ 2 Patchouli ϭ 2 Chamomile ϭ 2 Geranium ϭ 1 Relaxing Promote sleep Bubble-bath (for use at night) Massage Orange ϭ 4 Marjoram ϭ 5 Ylang Ylang ϭ 6 Neroli ϭ 3 Bergamot ϭ 2 Sandalwood ϭ 1 Jasmine ϭ 1 Reasons for choice Dilution rate Carrier oils/ other vehicle used (state mls used) Sweet Almond 20 ml Parts of body treated Results Home care advice given 15/1/03 General well-being Massage antiinflammatory IBS sedative skin care menstrual pain hormone balancer fluid retention stress stress calming skin care IBS. E F. C. C. D.

> Summary and conclusion after a course of treatments has been given. along with the main treatment objectives. You may ask the client to complete a feedback sheet or give a testimonial. Task Practise carrying out detailed consultations on clients in preparation for an aromatherapy treatment. > A completed consultation form. to avoid the client’s building up sensitivity to any oil or oils used.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note It is very important to review the client’s treatment plan at regular intervals. preventing the need to use the same oils each time. and all other relevant factors. Care should be taken to avoid using the same blend of oils for an extended period of time. lifestyle and emotional state. 140 . Due to the diversity of properties of essential oils. > A record of all treatments undertaken and an evaluation of their effectiveness. which is detailed and elicits their physical and emotional state. along with the oils used. These may form part of your portfolio of evidence. A complete case study will generally consist of the following parts: > A general introduction to the client to include their background information such as present condition. Each consultation you carry out should include the following information in relation to the client: > personal details > medical history > current medical treatment > medication > emotional state > lifestyle and diet > reasons for treatment Guidelines for Case Studies A client case study is a record of a series of treatments that have been undertaken on a client and have been evaluated for their effectiveness. to compile aromatherapy case studies. there will always be a suitable alternative.

Self-assessment Questions 1. State two important reasons for undertaking a consultation prior to aromatherapy treatment.The Aromatherapy Consultation Key Note Remember that client case studies contain confidential information. State ten factors that should be discussed with a client during a consultation for aromatherapy. 141 . 2. Why is it important to keep full and accurate records on aromatherapy treatments given for each client? 3. therefore it is important to obtain the client’s written permission that they do not object to details being kept in your portfolio.

Explain the procedure and etiquette for dealing with referral data for aromatherapy treatments.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 4. 142 .

and will be able to select and blend oils individually for each client. > A competent aromatherapist will have a thorough knowledge of the therapeutic properties of essential oils. The art of true aromatherapy therefore lies in selecting and blending oils to create synergistic blends. the chemistry of the oils combines with one another to create an entirely new substance whose properties as a whole add up to more than the sum of its individual parts. Furthermore. the interaction of the various molecular components creates a synergistic blend. the principle of synergy allows the therapist to be accurate in providing treatments by taking into account all factors relating to the client. Synergy When two or more oils are blended together. 143 .Blending in Aromatherapy CHAPTER 8 The art of blending essential oils is one of the most creative parts of an aromatherapy practice. When essential oils are blended together. which is more powerful than using an individual oil on its own. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work carried out as an aromatherapist: > the principles of synergy and blending > factors to be considered when blending essential oils > quantities and proportions when blending essential oils > the therapeutic properties and uses of carrier oils. The principle of synergy was strongly advocated by Marguerite Maury when she introduced the idea of the ‘individual prescription’ in the 1950s. both physical and psychological. and creating a blend to suit their individual needs and condition. By blending together mutually enhancing oils. their molecules combine to form a synergy so that the combination of essential oils or the ‘whole’ becomes more than the sum of its individual parts.

the reverse is often the case. you could add up to 15 drops of essential oil to make your blend. it does not always follow that the more you use. it is often the minute proportions of an essential oil that can effect the healing process. A synergistic blend therefore treats the person in a holistic way by taking account of all aspects of that person. Blending Blending essential oils is an individual skill and there are many ways in which it can be undertaken. as well as having personal experience of using the oils.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note The principle of synergy is context-dependent. Personal experimentation is the only way to learn. An easy way of remembering the number of essential oil drops to carrier oil is to divide the mls of carrier oil you are using by two. For example. but the most important overriding factor is that the proportions used are sensible and are within safety guidelines to avoid undesired effects. the better the effect will be. you will need to study the therapeutic properties of the oils to understand their effects and their individual characters (see Chapter 4). Some aromatherapists may use more or less than a 2 per cent dilution to achieve the desired effects. For aromatherapy massage. rather than treating them for an isolated condition. There are many factors to consider when blending essential oils: Proportions When blending it is important to remember that essential oils are very powerful and concentrated substances. which means that a successful synergistic blend created for one client may be wholly inappropriate for another client. It is also important to consider the odour intensity of the oils being used as some may predominate so will need to be used in small amounts to create a balanced blend. a dilution of 2 per cent of essential oil to carrier oil is usually recommended. as essential oils possess an array of therapeutic possibilities that can be blended into endless combinations. Firstly. in order to be able to blend essential oils successfully. 144 . if you are using 30 ml of carrier oil. Key Note In aromatherapy.

Rosemary) blend well with citrus (Lemon. Notes The classification of essential oils into notes originates from the perfumery industry. Area being treated Unless the client has a very sensitive skin. as some oils are highly odiferous and may need to be toned down with other. less powerful and more balancing oils. for example. Compatibility Certain essential oils are mutually enhancing and will blend well together. 145 . for example Marjoram and Black Pepper. > Middle notes are less volatile and usually form the heart of the blend. middle and base note. but it is worth considering that botanical families of oils blend well with each other. Marjoram. where it is said that a wellbalanced perfume contains a top. For children and pregnant women it is recommended that a 1 per cent dilution is used and there are several essential oils that should not be used (see Chapter 2). it is usual to use a 2 per cent dilution of essential oils for therapeutic body work. members of the herb family (Lavender. a 1 per cent dilution is recommended. some may be too stimulating. Do remember also to consider your choice of oils when working on the face. It is therefore very important to consider the odour intensity of the oils you intend to blend. Ylang Ylang. Smell is a very powerful sense and if the aroma of the blend is not pleasing to the client. Jasmine). the overall objectives may not be met as the client might not be able to relax and enjoy the full benefits of the treatment. This principle is not used in quite the same way for aromatherapy as for perfumery. although it may be useful to take account of notes to ensure that the blend you create is well-balanced from an aesthetic point of view. it is a good idea to take into account the aesthetics of the aroma to ensure you create a balanced blend. as blends react with the individual chemistry of a person’s skin to create an entirely unique aroma. Orange. > Top notes are the fastest acting essences and give the first impression in a blend as they are highly volatile. > Base notes are the least volatile and act as blend fixatives to make the aroma last longer. Bergamot) and flowers (Rose. when working on sensitive areas such as the face. Personal experimentation is the only way of finding which oils blend well together. However. Client preference The client’s choice of aroma is often very personal. Aesthetics Although we are principally blending essential oils for therapeutic reasons. whereas some have an inhibiting effect on each other.Blending in Aromatherapy Client type The type of client to be treated will always influence the essential oils blended.

your nose is generally the best guide. Certain aromatherapists are guided by their intuition. taking into account all relevant factors relating to the client? > Are the proportions used within safe limits? 146 . to ensure the client’s needs are being met. Cost It is important to blend only as much as you need for an individual treatment to ensure cost-effectiveness. while at the same time adding in one’s own interpretation or ingredients to make it unique. combined with personal experimentation and experience. A good analogy is to imagine following a recipe book. When blending. Some aromatherapists use dowsing or crystals to assist them in their selection of oils for a client. does the client need general relaxation physically but an uplift emotionally? Client’s skin type The client’s skin type may often influence your choice of essential oils. if your client suffers from skin problems. By using a maximum of three or four essential oils to a blend. Treatment objective and individual needs of client As you are creating a synergistic blend it is essential to take account of the client’s predominant problems (both physical and emotional) along with an overall treatment objective. For example. while others use the Eastern principle of yin (being calming and relaxing) and yang (being stimulating). Treatment is not always improved by adding several essential oils. which will often be unique to the person creating the blend. you will keep in touch with the individual aroma and qualities of the oils as you start to create synergistic blends. For example. Whichever method of blending is used. It is for this reason that some clients may perceive a particular aroma quite differently from others. Variations in blending There are many accepted variations in blending techniques. based upon their knowledge of the therapeutic effects and characteristics of each oil. the dilution and type of oils must be carefully selected to avoid adverse skin reactions. these important factors must be considered: > Is the blend of oils created acceptable to the client? > Does the blend meet with the treatment objective? > Has the blend been created synergistically. Even the mood of the client can affect the way in which the aroma of a blend of essential oils is perceived. and it is wasteful to use several oils for the sake of blending if fewer oils would fit the overall purpose.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note It is important to remember that odours are multifaceted and a single odiferous material may be composed of many different overtones and undertones.

The main method used for extracting vegetable carrier oils is cold or warm pressing: the oil seed. which are therapeutically beneficial for the skin and the body’s systems. nut or kernel is heated at a low temperature to help release the oil. sweet almond. Carrier oils used in aromatherapy should preferably be unrefined or cold pressed. minerals and enzymes). jojoba. Carrier oils are commonly referred to as fixed oils. which can enhance the effectiveness of the blend. In addition. it becomes a creative experience. essential oils are carried by base or vegetable carrier oils.e. macadamia nut). Key Note Clients with nut allergies should avoid contact with carrier oils that are nut based (hazelnut. proportions used and whether it was pleasing and therapeutically beneficial. colour and its natural constituents (i.Blending in Aromatherapy Key Note Once you begin to blend. 147 . and is then put through a cold press. The refining process of vegetable oils is undesirable in the practice of aromatherapy. Unrefined oils are superior in comparison as they retain their natural constituents. they have therapeutic benefits of their own. Properties and Uses of Carrier Oils In order to aid their absorption into the bloodstream. The choice of carrier oil used in a blend will be primarily dependent on the client’s skin type and the therapeutic objectives of the treatment. as the oils are produced by intense heat. In the early stages it is a good idea to keep a blending notebook detailing the oils used. it is best to use carrier oils with little or no odour to allow the essential oils to work effectively. vitamins. which has a destructive effect on the aroma. as they act as blending or stabilising agents for the essential oils. In aromatherapy.

relives itching. B and D Skin types suitable for: all skin types. highly odorous and relatively expensive. notably vitamin A Therapeutic properties: very easily absorbed. essential fatty acids. It is very effective for therapeutic massage and is light enough for facial massage. especially dry. vitamins A. dehydrated and sensitive 148 . Contains: protein. Botanical name: Prunus armenica Source: extracted from the seed kernel of the fruit Colour: pale yellow Contains: vitamins and minerals. Botanical name: Persea americana Source: cold pressed from the flesh of the avocado fruit Colour: dark green Therapeutic properties: soothing. especially dry. nourishing and soothing Skin types suitable for: all skin types. lecithin. use as a 10 per cent addition to another lighter carrier. mature and inflamed Avocado Key Note As this oil is fairly viscous.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Common Carrier Oils used in Aromatherapy Apricot kernel Key Note Apricot kernel is generally too expensive to use on its own so it may be blended with other less expensive carriers such as grapeseed and sweet almond. sensitive. highly penetrative.

Botanical name: Oenothera biennis Source: extracted from the seeds Colour: pale yellow Therapeutic properties: soothing and nourishing. Botanical name: Calendula officinalis Source: macerated from the flowers Colour: orange-yellow Therapeutic properties: anti-inflammatory. especially dry and sensitive Evening primrose Key Note This oil is reputed to be effective for menopausal problems and premenstrual syndrome. healing Skin types suitable for: all skin types. softening and soothing on the skin. buy in capsule form and add one or two capsules to the blend.Blending in Aromatherapy Calendula (Pot Marigold) Key Note The oil is especially gentle and soothing for use with children. astringent. Contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and is rich in linoleic acid Skin types suitable for: all skin types. babies and those with sensitive skin. It is a very expensive oil so use as a 10 per cent dilution to other carrier oils. especially dry 149 . reputed to help accelerate healing in the body. alternatively.

Contains vitamin E Skin types suitable for: all skin types. especially oily or combination skins 150 . although it does tend to be expensive. Contains oleic acid (monosaturated fatty acid) and linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid). Free from cholesterol Skin types suitable for: all skin types Hazelnut Key Note This oil is quickly absorbed for massage purposes and can be used as a 100 per cent carrier.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Grapeseed Key Note This oil has a very light texture and is effective for general massage purposes. Botanical name: Vitis vinifera Source: heat extracted from the grape pips of the fruit Colour: pale green Therapeutic properties: gentle emollient. Botanical name: Corylus avellana Source: extracted from hazelnuts Colour: yellow Therapeutic properties: has a slightly astringent effect on the skin and is stimulating to the circulation. Good penetrative qualities. It can therefore be used on its own as a carrier. Contains linoleic acid. but is more commonly used as the main basic oil and other oils with more nutrients are added to it. protein and a small proportion of vitamin E.

Rich in vitamin E. Botanical name: Simmondsia chinensis Source: extracted from the bean of the plant Colour: yellow (liquid wax) Therapeutic properties: anti-inflammatory. Its chemical structure resembles sebum and contains a waxy substance that mimics collagen. it may be added to other carriers or used on its own. As it is rich and expensive. highly penetrative. Contains essential fatty acids found in sebum Skin types suitable for: all skin types. especially for dry and ageing skins 151 . Natural moisturiser Skin types suitable for: all skin types including oily. Botanical name: Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia ternifolia Source: warm pressed from the plant Colour: peach colour Therapeutic properties: highly emollient. rich and nutritive.Blending in Aromatherapy Jojoba Key Note This oil is light and fine in texture and is very effective for facial and body massage. acne skins and inflamed skins Macadamia nut Key Note This oil has become a very popular carrier in aromatherapy due to its nutritive properties. combination. protein and minerals.

unripe olives Colour: yellow-green Therapeutic properties: rich and nutritive. Very soothing Skin types suitable for: dehydrated skins and inflamed skin Peach kernel Key Note This oil has a regenerative and tonic effect on the skin. Botanical name: Olea Europaea Source: extracted from hard.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Olive oil Key Note This oil is very heavy and viscous. and some essential fatty acids Skin types suitable for: all skin types. and tends to have a strong odour. Botanical name: Prunus persica Source: extracted from the kernel Colour: pale green Therapeutic properties: emollient. contains a good source of vitamin E. helps increase skin suppleness and elasticity. especially dry and mature 152 . Contains vitamins A and E.

dehydrated skins Safflower Key Note This oil is very economical to use as a carrier as it is inexpensive and light. Botanical name: Carthamux tinctorius Source: warm pressed from the seeds Colour: yellow Therapeutic properties: nutritive. stretch marks. It is an excellent oil to use on the scar following surgery as it helps to aid a speedy recovery. regenerating and healing Skin types suitable for: scar tissue.Blending in Aromatherapy Rosehip Key Note Rosehip has a rich texture and therefore should be diluted with another carrier oil (50/50). Botanical name: Rosa cannina Source: extracted from the seeds of the rosehip Colour: rose Therapeutic properties: has the same polyunsaturated fatty acids as human skin (linoleic acid). as rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E Skin types suitable for: all skin types 153 .

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition St Johns wort Key Note This oil is specially effective on healing wounds and for soothing inflammation. Its structure is close to sebum Skin types suitable for: all skin types. It is relatively inexpensive. making it effective for general purposes. especially dry 154 . astringent. soothing and healing to the skin Skin types suitable for: all skin types. Botanical name: Helianthus annus Source: warm pressed from the sunflower seeds Colour: golden yellow Therapeutic properties: nutritive. Botanical name: Hypericum perforatum Source: macerated from the flowers and leaves Colour: mauvey-red-brown Therapeutic properties: anti-inflammatory. especially dry and sensitive Sunflower Key Note This oil is very fine and light and is a relatively neutral oil. contains fatty acids and high levels of vitamin E.

B1. viscous texture and is therefore too sticky to be used on its own. B6. especially inflamed and ageing 155 . healing.Blending in Aromatherapy Sweet almond Key Note This oil is probably one of the most popular carrier oils used in aromatherapy as it has a high therapeutic and nutritive value. Contains vitamins A. It is also highly odorous and. Contains a high proportion of fatty acids Skin types suitable for: all skin types. will predominate the blend. Botanical name: Prunus amygdalus Source: warm pressed from the kernel of the sweet almond tree Colour: pale yellow Therapeutic properties: soothing and calming and helps relieve itching. Botanical name: Triticum vulgare Source: warm pressed from the germ of the wheat kernel Colour: orange brown Therapeutic properties: soothing. ageing and inflamed skins Wheatgerm Key Note This oil has a rich. Use up to 10 per cent dilution with other carrier oils. nourishing. especially dry. E and is rich in protein. if used to excess. A natural anti-oxidant. A rich source of vitamin E and protein Skin types suitable for: all skin types. B2.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Summary Key Note > Carrier oils should be stored in a cold place for up to approximately nine months. > As carrier oils are perishable products. 156 . the lid should be placed on the bottle and the bottle shaken to disperse the essential oils into the carrier. If pouring into a bottle. to remove all trace of the previous blend of oils.e. remembering to use a 2 per cent dilution for the body and 1 per cent for the face. How to Blend Oils for Aromatherapy Massage The equipment needed to mix your essential oils will include the following: > clear glass or plastic measuring container in ml > selected essential oils > selected carrier oils > selection of dark glass bottles. Key Note Always remember to label the blend if blending into bottles. Method > The amount of carrier/s required for the proposed treatment is measured out into the clear glass or plastic container. If reusing the container and bottles. 10 ml. it is wise to buy them frequently and in sensible proportions. > If using a glass or plastic container. it is important to pour the oil up to the shoulder level of the bottle in order to leave an air gap. > The number of selected essential oil drops are then added one at a time. after which time they will oxidise. it is necessary to stir the mix with a glass rod or other suitable implement such as a spatula. make sure that both are washed thoroughly and disinfected. or directly into a dark glass bottle. 5 ml. 15 ml and 25 ml > glass rod for stirring > labels. > If using a bottle. i.

Blending in Aromatherapy

Select a blend of oils for the following ‘case histories’ and state:


1 which form of treatment you would be likely to use for this client; 2 the choice of essential oils and carrier oil/s used, along with the dilutions; and

3 what home care advice you would offer this client.
> Miss S has cellulite and poor circulation. She also suffers with frequent headaches and has sensitive and dry skin. > Mr N is an asthmatic with breathing difficulties. Also suffers with eczema and nervous tension. He has oily skin. > Mrs D suffers extreme tension due to pressure of work, aches and muscular pains in the lumbar region of the back due to bending and lifting at work. Has normal skin, slightly dry. > Mr J has mild hypertension and occasionally suffers with palpitations. He has just got over the breakdown of his marriage of 20 years and feels very inadequate. Has dry, sensitive skin. > Miss K suffers with PMT and gets very irritable before a period, which is affecting her relationships at home. She also gets a lot of fluid retention and suffers with migraine. Has normal skin. > Mrs Y has been taking tranquillisers for over 20 years, which were prescribed originally due to a nervous breakdown, following a bereavement of a close family member. She is very tense and complains of headaches and neck pain. Also has disturbing nightmares.

Self-assessment Questions
1. What is meant by the term ‘synergy’ in aromatherapy?


Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

2. State five important factors to be taken into account when blending essential oils.

3. What determines a choice of essential oils for a client in an aromatherapy treatment?

4. What determines the choice of carrier oil used for a client in aromatherapy?

5. List the therapeutic properties of the following carrier oils, indicating which skin type/s they may be suitable for: i Sweet almond


Blending in Aromatherapy

ii Grapeseed

iii Avocado

iv Wheatgerm

v Jojoba



Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy

If energy is not flowing freely in the body, it can result in blockages in the energy pathways, which can lead to imbalances. In order for aromatherapists to understand how emotions can cause energy blocks in the tissues of our body, it is helpful to have an insight into the oriental systems of body circuits, called meridians, and the subtle energy fields of chakras. Essential oils are universal balancers in that they have a range of energetic actions that can help to restore a range of imbalances.
> A competent aromatherapist needs to have an insight into the energetic concepts of yin and yang, meridians and chakras in order to understand how they relate to physical and emotional balance.

By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge in relation to the energetic profiles of essential oils and your work as an aromatherapist:
> the role of yin and yang > the role of meridians > the role of chakras.

Yin and Yang
In order to understand imbalance, it is important to explore the oriental concept of yin and yang: the philosophy that forms the foundation of Chinese medicine. Yin and yang is a way of expressing opposite and complementary states of energy, such as hot and cold, male and female, night and day, winter and summer. When the yin and yang are balanced within the context of life, health and well-being are experienced; when they are imbalanced ill health can arise.


Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy

Everybody, whatever their gender, possesses varying degrees of yin and yang characteristics. The subtle balance is constantly changing, much in the same way as every aspect of the universe changes, such as the cycles of light and the seasons, which are reflective of the constant shift between the polar opposites. It is important to note that the terms used to describe yin and yang are relative rather than absolute states, therefore there is nothing that is purely yin or purely yang; each contains a part of the other in order to represent wholeness. Understanding the energetic roles of yin and yang is the key to any therapeutic application such as aromatherapy. > The primary function of yin is to cool, moisten, relax and promote sleep. > The primary function of yang is to warm, energise and stimulate. If a client’s yang energy is deficient they are likely to feel chilly, tired and unmotivated, and therefore they will be imbalanced towards the yin. In this case, they will benefit from essential oils with a ‘yang’ (warming, energising) character such as Rosemary or Ginger. If a client’s yang energy is excessive they will tend to feel restless, hyperactive and suffer from insomnia, and the imbalance will be towards the yang. In this case they will benefit from essential oils to reduce excess yang, oils that are more yin in character (cooling and relaxing) such as German Chamomile and Melissa. If a person’s yin energy is deficient the symptoms are likely to be a feeling of heat, thirst and restlessness. Although similar in character to the symptoms of excess yang, the difference is that the feeling of heat is limited to the hands, feet and chest. Examples of essential oils that help to balance the body’s yin energy are Rose and Geranium. These are examples of excessive or deficient yin and yang states; however, in practice most people are likely to suffer from combinations of yin and yang conditions. In order to help clients restore balance and overall health, we can use the energetic concepts of yin and yang as a guide; we need to balance the opposing extremes, in other words, the extreme yang part must relax and become more yin and the extreme yin must become more active, or more yang. The balancing of a client’s energy, or yin and yang, can be supported by a choice of particular essential oils that reflect the individual’s constitution and character.

Key Note
Due to the relativity of the energetic states of yin and yang, it is significant to note that no essential oil can be categorised as totally ‘yin’ or totally ‘yang’.


Having a deeper understanding of meridians can help aromatherapists to recognise that problems in a specific part of the body correspond to problems in specific organs. The body’s circuit of electrical energy is divided into 14 major meridians. A client’s condition. therefore we can then work on these areas in aromatherapy in order to help address the imbalance. they actually form a single continuous circuit that conveys electromagnetic energy throughout the body. The remaining six organic circuits are called yang meridians. The yang meridians convey positive electromagnetic energy throughout the body and supply the yang organs: 162 . Key Note Optimum results will be achieved when aromatherapists can detect which organs and systems are at the root cause of the imbalances. which conveys electrical energy throughout the body. Body meridians contain a colourless free-flowing non-cellular fluid. whether excessively yin or yang. An excessively cold condition may restrict the flow of energy along a meridian. generating electrical energy within the ionic environment of the cells and tissues. circulating. will have a direct impact on how the energy flows in the meridians. Six of the organic meridians are called yin meridians. and select the essential oils to help address the deficiency or excess appropriately. The yin circuit conveys negative electromagnetic energy throughout the body and supplies the yin organs: > heart > lungs > liver > spleen > kidney > pericardium The yin meridians all have a common purpose in altering. Body meridians are named according to the internal structures they supply and each of the organic meridians supplies a group of muscles in the body as well as a group of internal tissues. Although the meridians are divided in terms of the organs and tissues that they supply. while too much heat may cause an excess of energy to flow along a meridian.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Meridians The human body is like a natural energy source. storing blood and energy (chi) and are deep in the body. there are 12 organic meridians and 2 storage meridians.

8 Figure 23: The meridians 8 163 .Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy > stomach > small intestine > large intestine > gall bladder > urinary bladder > triple warmer (the three zones of energy in the torso) The yang meridians are closer to the surface and are all part of the digestive system.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

It is important to understand that no organ operates independently within the meridian network. Each yin organ and its meridian works in line with a corresponding organ and meridian. The meridians function in pairs, each one being made up of one yin meridian and one yang meridian. Energy or chi moves from the head towards the feet through the yang meridians on the back of the body and from the feet to the head through the yin meridians on the front.

Heart meridian
The heart meridian begins at the heart and surfaces in the centre of the axilla. The meridian passes down the inside of the arm, crosses the inner point of the elbow fold, and runs through to the tip of the little finger.

Common symptoms of imbalance
> hot or cold hands and feet > red complexion > nervousness > irritability > mental or emotional disturbance > insomnia, disturbed sleep or excessive dreaming > cardiovascular disorders > brain or nervous system disorders > speech problems > spontaneous sweating > poor memory of important life events

> excessive laughter > hysteria > lack of joy > expressionless appearance

Key Note
The heart meridian is the centre of emotional and mental consciousness. It is associated with passion, mental clarity and joy.

Lung meridian
The lung meridian runs from deep in the body at the lung to surface in the hollow area by the front shoulder. It then passes over the shoulder and down the front of the arm along the biceps muscle. It goes down the arm to the wrist just below the base of the thumb and ends at the thumbnail.


Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy

Common symptoms of imbalance
> asthma > bronchitis > congestion in the chest > coughing > breathing difficulties > pneumonia > excessive mucus > sore throat > loss of voice > deficient or excessive perspiration > collapsed or hollow chest

> chronic or long-term grief, sorrow > claustrophobia > compulsive behaviour > restlessness

Key Note
In Chinese medicine, the lungs are the rulers of energy. How deeply we breathe shapes the energy and gives it its definition.

Liver meridian
The liver meridian begins as a point inside the big toenail, passes over the top of the foot, continues above the inside of the ankle, runs past the inside of the knee and along the inner thigh. It proceeds through the genital region, upward to the sides of the body and then to the ribs just over the liver (for the meridian on the right side of the body) and just over the spleen (on the left side).

Common symptoms of imbalance
> red face > pale, drawn face > headaches (at the top of the head) > migraines > dizziness > pain and swelling in the genitals > disorders of the eye and vision > muscle spasms, seizures, convulsions > pale fingernails, ridges in nails, cracked nails > pain relating to tendons > allergies > easily bruised

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

> menstrual pain, irregular periods, blood clotting, premenstrual syndrome

> dandruff and hair loss

> anger > frustration > depression > lack of will

Key Note
In Chinese medicine, the liver and liver meridian are considered to be the controller of the life force. The liver meridian is associated with expression of the will and with creativity – when life energy is weak it is usually indicative of the liver being troubled.

Spleen meridian
The spleen meridian begins at the inside of the big toe at the nail and then runs along the inside of the foot, it turns upward in front of the ankle bone, then ascends along the inside of the calf to the knee. From there the meridian runs up through the genital region, through the abdomen, proceeds to the spleen itself, and then to the stomach. The meridian continues upward, along the side of the body and chest area to the outside of the breast.

Common symptoms of imbalance
> digestive problems – dyspepsia, constipation and diarrhoea > heartburn, acid indigestion > nausea > belching and gas > immune deficiency or disorders > lymphatic problems (swollen lymph nodes) > abdominal distension > appetite imbalance > hypoglycaemia or diabetes > heavy, aching body > knee or thigh problems > memory problems > vomiting after eating

> excessive worry > sensitivity > obsession > lack of awareness


Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy

Key Note
In Chinese medicine, the spleen is regarded as the primary organ of digestion, passing Chi to the small and large intestines. When the spleen is weakened by excessive consumption of sugar and acidic foods, it is unable to pass on sufficient energy to the intestines, which often results in chronic indigestion and constipation

Kidney meridian
The kidney meridian starts at the little toe and crosses under the foot to the inner edge of the instep. It circles the anklebone towards the heel, then rises along the inside of the calf to the inner thigh. At the pubic region it goes internal for a short distance and re-emerges over the abdomen and chest to the clavicle.

Common symptoms of imbalance
> cold extremities (especially the feet) > achy or weak bones > darkness under the eyes > drowsiness, lack of energy > diarrhoea > dizziness on standing > tinnitus > oedema > hearing loss > low back pain > irregular menstruation > pre-menstrual syndrome > reproductive problems > soles of feet painful or hot > urinary incontinence > sexual problems > hypertension > hair loss

> fearful, easily frightened > chronic anxiety > foolhardiness

Key Note
In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are responsible for strength and constitutional vitality of the body. They control the essential energy within each cell of the body and thereby maintain the health, vitality and function of every organ, system and sense.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Circulation/Pericardium meridian
The circulation/pericardium meridian starts internally at the surface of the heart and emerges just outside each nipple. It follows around the axilla and travels down the inside of the arm to the wrist, ending at the thumbside corner of the middle fingernail.

Common symptoms of imbalance
> stiffness or spasm in the arm and elbow > distended chest and ribs > discomfort in chest > hot palms > red face > excessive laughter > sexual dysfunction > painful or swollen underarm > tension in upper chest > painful, stiff head and neck

> timidity > anxiety > nervousness > insensitivity > rude behaviour

Key Note
The circulation/pericardium meridian does not correspond directly to an organ.

Stomach meridian
The stomach meridian starts below the eyes, descends to the sides of the mouth and the jaw, from which a branch rises to the forehead. It continues along the side of the throat to the collarbone and over the chest and abdomen to the pubic area. From there, it passes along the front of the thigh to the outside of the kneecap. Below the kneecap, the meridian divides into two branches, one that ends at the second toe and one that ends at the third toe.


As the stomach meridian begins at the mouth. one providing energy to the other. trails the back of the hand to the wrist and flows from the outside of the ulna to the elbow. Small intestine meridian The small intestine meridian begins at the outside of the nail on the little finger. the stomach and spleen are seen as being connected. thereby controlling the preparation of food for digestion. It follows the back of the arm up to the shoulder joint. it is said to control the mouth.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > abdominal distension (upper) > abdominal pain > jaw tension > knee pain > lip or mouth sores > vomiting > frequent hunger or thirst > neck or throat swelling > yawning > groaning Emotional > critical > lack of understanding > lack of compassion > anxiety and nervous tension > emotionally unstable Key Note In Chinese medicine. Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > abdominal distension (lower) > arm pain > shoulder pain and tension > swollen cheeks > difficulty in head turning to one side > sore or stiff elbow joint > eye soreness or redness > disorders relating to the small intestine Emotional > lack of mental clarity (deficient qi) > lack of joy (deficient qi) > over emotional (excess qi) > hysteria (excess qi) 169 . tongue and oesophagus. the meridian continues up the side of the neck and over the cheek to the ear. where it crosses the scapula to the clavicle. From here.

then passes up the thumb-side edge of the arm to the edge of the shoulder. In Chinese medicine. Large intestine meridian The large intestine meridian starts at the index finger on the outside of the nail (towards the thumb). the large intestine is recognised as performing the function of elimination in a physical and metaphorical sense. the small intestine is seen as linked with the heart. imbalances in the small intestine prevent the smooth transfer of energy from the food to the stomach. That is.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note In Chinese medicine. resulting in digestive disorders. touches the upper lip and ends at the nostril. It then crosses the shoulder and neck to the cheek. helping to bring clarity of mind. 170 . the condition of the large intestine reflects the mind and body’s capacity to eliminate those experiences. beliefs and emotions we no longer need in order that we may grow as individuals. runs through the crease between the thumb and the index finger. The large intestine is also responsible for sending energy downwards into the body and thus grounding us to the earth. Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > constipation > diarrhoea > headache > shoulder pain > nasal congestion > toothache Emotional > excessive worry > grief and sadness > compulsive attention to detail > stubbornness Key Note In Chinese medicine.

171 . From there it drops down the neck and over the front of each shoulder. goes back over the head to the forehead above the eyes. The four lines continue over the buttocks and down the legs. passes over the forehead and the top of the head. then over the head again to the back of the neck. frustration and clouded judgement will result. It then zigzags down the sides of the body.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Gall bladder meridian The first thing to notice about the gall bladder meridian is that it zigzags back and forth over the head and down both sides of the body. two on either side of the spine. Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > headache (temple) and migraine > eye and ear pain > joint stiffness and pain > tightness and pain in sides of chest > nausea and vomiting > yellow colour in eyes > stiffness in fourth toe > gall stones Emotional > anger and frustration (excess qi) > depression and lack of will (deficient qi) Key Note In Chinese medicine. Bladder meridian The bladder meridian begins at the inside corner of the eye. A single line then passes down each leg along the centre line of the calf behind the outer ankle. and ends at the outer tip of the little toe. the gall bladder is seen as an external manifestation of the liver energy. where two meet behind each knee. over the front of the ankles. loops around the ear to the neck. The meridian begins at the outside corner of each eye. good judgement and clear thinking is made possible – when the organ is unbalanced. along the outside of each leg. and ends at the fourth toe. It is also one of the longest. The Chinese say that when the gall bladder is balanced. then continues down the back in four lines. therefore liver symptoms become more pronounced when the gall bladder is imbalanced.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > back problems > bladder infection > incontinence > hip or sacrum problems > pain on inside corner of eye > rounded shoulders > spasm or pain at back of calf > stiffness in little toe > aching feet after standing Emotional > paranoia > jealousy > excessive suspicion > fear > chronic anxiety Key Note In Chinese medicine. up the back of the neck and circles around the back of the ear. Triple warmer meridian The triple warmer meridian begins on the outside corner of the nail on the fourth finger and runs up the middle of the outside of the arm to the top of the shoulder. the bladder is part of the system that includes the kidneys and the reproductive organs. overweight > fast metabolism. you strengthen not only the bladder itself but every organ in the body. By boosting energy along the bladder meridian. where it continues to the outer corner of the eyebrow. It continues over the shoulder to the clavicle. Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > distended abdomen > colds and fevers > deafness > pain behind ear > elbow problems > swollen jaw > slow metabolism. hyperactive Emotional > none 172 .

but is seen as having a function that controls fluids within the body. bladder. Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > asthma > coughing > epilepsy > eczema > hay fever > head and neck pain > laryngitis > lung problems > mouth sores > pneumonia > genital disorders > itching > painful abdominal skin Emotional > none 173 . It then crosses through the genital area to the top of the pubic bone. most specifically water and the endocrine system. The triple warmer gets its name from the three centres of activity within the body that create heat as they function. > The lower warmer is associated with the kidneys. > The middle warmer is associated with the liver. also known as the triple heater. the triple warmer. chest and neck and ends just below the lower lip. small and large intestines. does not relate to a specific organ. drops down and merges in the perineum just between the anus and the genitals. > The upper warmer is associated with the heart and the lungs. spleen and stomach. Conception vessel meridian The conception vessel meridian starts in the pelvic cavity.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Key Note In Chinese medicine. runs up the midline of the abdomen.

Common symptoms of imbalance Physical > headaches and pain in the eyes > stiffness in the spine > back pain or tension > dizziness > eye problems > cold extremities > fevers > haemorrhoids > insomnia > neck pain > spinal problems > rounded shoulders. From here. It then goes under the lip to the upper gum. the conception vessel is seen as the regulator of the peripheral nervous system and along with the governing vessel controls the other 12 meridians. it moves upward across the sacrum and along the spine. It then passes to the tip of the coccyx. up over the head towards the upper lip. heavy head Emotional > none 174 . the conception vessel also governs menstruation and the development of the foetus. Governing vessel meridian The governing vessel meridian begins in the pelvic cavity and then drops down and merges below the genital area. It creates balance by uniting the organ meridians.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Key Note In Chinese medicine. In addition to providing energy to all of your peripheral nerves. allowing energy flow to adjust when there is a blockage.

frustration. the governing vessel is the regulator of the nervous system and. agitation. or aura. When pressing on a point along a meridian. disappointment. which depletes the yin circuits along with the muscles and tissues supplied by them. by subtly altering the chemical state of the body’s tissues and their ionic conductivity. Like the conception vessel. Chakras are non-physical energy centres located about an inch away from the physical body. remember that you are also working on a related organ. Meridians are energetic roots or organs. an excess of yang emotions such as anger. 175 . it controls the other 12 meridians. hostility. which deprives the yang circuit and the muscles and tissues supplied by them of positive energy. The energy field of each chakra extends beyond the visible body of matter into the subtle body. jealousy. withdrawal and shame can cause the body’s tissues to be flooded with negative electromagnetic energy. envy and defensiveness can flood the tissues with positive electromagnetic energy. it allows excess energy to pass through it. Conversely. grief. It is considered as being an extra meridian by the Chinese. which in turn has an impact on the physical body. impatience. The negative energy that permeates the body’s system then causes negative congestion. Chakras Everything that happens to us on an emotional level has an energetic impact on the subtle body. It is important to realise that emotions can upset the natural balance and flow of electromagnetic energy in the body. Yin emotions such as depression. It is important to remember that chakras do not have a physical form and any illustration of the chakras is merely a visual aid to the imagination and not a literal physical reality. which in turn passes that excess on to other meridians that may be deficient of energy. fear. Key Note When working along a specific meridian. along with the conception vessel.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Key Note In Chinese medicine. energy is boosted along the pathway to the corresponding organ.

At a physical level. Colour association: red Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the base chakra include Benzoin. sensuality. Ylang. Its energies also affect the lower parts of the pelvis. creating additional strain for the energy system. survival. By working with the subtle energy of the chakras. Jasmine and Ylang. An accumulation of negative energy in the chakras can manifest itself as an emotional or physical condition. Key Note Each essential oil has an affinity with one or more chakras and this information may be used in therapeutic application to strengthen the formulae for helping the client back to balance. this may not always be linked to being a symptom of a cause within the subtle body. it can accumulate and the function of the chakra becomes impaired. the senses. They may feel weak. aggression and self-defence. a person’s sex. energy may be strengthened. lack confidence and unable to achieve their goals. decreased or balanced as needed by the body at the time of the treatment. the chakras can lose their ability to synchronise with each other and become unbalanced. it is linked to the endocrine system through the adrenal glands. Often we only notice a change in the physical body as we become aware of pain or disease. energy can be aligned and harmony restored. If negative energy becomes stored in chakras. legs and feet. Imbalance: if this chakra is unbalanced it can make a person feel as if they are ungrounded and unfocused. which the chakra is thought to influence. Base or root chakra Location: at the base of the spine Relevance: it is the foundation chakra and is linked with nature and planet Earth. Ultimately this can lead to energy blocks where the chakra virtually ceases to function and creates an imbalance as other chakras attempt to compensate for the blocked centre. Chakras are the focal points for the energies of the subtle bodies and are the key to restoring balancing. With stress. 176 . the hips. By placing hands along the axis of the chakras. It is concerned with all issues of a physical nature – the body.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Chakras are a way of describing the flow of subtle energy and are often said to be related to an endocrine gland.

as shock and stress impact on this chakra more than others. 177 . At the physical level. Its energies also affect the solar and splenic nerve plexuses. It is in the solar plexus chakra that negative energies relating to thoughts and feelings are processed. jealousy and anger are generated here. Colour association: orange Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the sacral chakra include Jasmine. Grapefruit. it is linked to the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. the uterus. Feelings such as fear. Patchouli and Sandalwood. the digestive system. gall bladder. insecurity.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Sacral chakra Location: at the level of the sacrum between the navel and the base chakra Relevance: concerned with all issues of creativity and sexuality. People with an imbalance in this chakra may feel depressed. At a physical level. the pancreas. self-esteem and self-worth. the kidneys. Its energies also affect the urino-genital organs. the lower digestive organs and the lower back. diaphragm and middle back. Solar plexus chakra Location: at approximately waist level Relevance: this chakra relates to our emotions. insecure. it is linked to the testes in the male and the ovaries in the female. liver. Neroli and Petitgrain. Imbalance: a person with an imbalance in this chakra may bury their emotions and be overly sensitive. anxiety. Imbalance: people who are under a degree of stress will show imbalance in this chakra. lacking in confidence and may worry what others think. Colour association: yellow Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the solar plexus chakra include Fennel. An imbalance may also lead to sexual difficulties and energy blocks with creativity.

At a physical level. teeth and ears. chest. feel unworthy of love or terrified of rejection. A person with an imbalance in this chakra may feel sorry for himself or herself. lungs. be afraid of letting go. Its energies also affect the pharyngeal nerve plexus. Its energies also affect the cardiac and pulmonary nerve plexuses. Throat chakra Location: at the base of the neck Relevance: this chakra is concerned with communication and expression. upper back and arms. A person with an imbalance in this chakra may feel unable to relax. the organs of the throat. it can lead to some form of imbalance due to the energy withdrawal into the body. it also deals with the issue of truth and true expression of the soul. Melissa and Rose. and as a result of unexpressed feeling bottling up it can lead to frustration and tension. it is linked to the thyroid and parathyroid glands. 178 . the heart. Colour association: blue Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the throat chakra include the Chamomiles (Roman and German). Imbalance: if the energy does not flow freely between the solar plexus and the heart. Geranium. mouth. At a physical level it is linked to the thymus gland. the neck. Rosemary and Sweet Marjoram. or between the heart and the throat. Imbalance: if this chakra is out of balance it may result in the inability to express emotions. bronchial tubes. nose.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Heart chakra Location: in the centre of the chest Relevance: this chakra is concerned with love and the heart. It is also the point of connection between the upper and lower chakras. It deals with all issues relating to love and affection. Colour association: green Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the heart chakra include Bergamot.

Rosemary and Teatree. Imbalance: if this chakra is not functioning correctly it can lead to headaches and nightmares. Its energies also affect the nerves of the head. Its energies also affect the brain and the rest of the body. brain.Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy Brow chakra Location: in the middle of the forehead over the third eye area Relevance: commonly known as the ‘third eye’. eyes and face. An imbalance may also show as being unable to make decisions. Crown chakra Location: on top of the head Relevance: this chakra is the centre of our spirituality and is concerned with thinking and decision making. A person with an imbalance in this chakra may be oversensitive to others’ feelings. Colour association: indigo Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the brow chakra/third eye include Clove. Colour association: violet Key Note Examples of essential oils with an affinity for the crown chakra include Clary Sage. understanding and intuition. At a physical level. it is linked to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Lavender. the brow chakra is the storehouse of memories and imagination and is associated with intellect. Imbalance: an imbalance in this chakra may be reflected in those who are unwilling or afraid to open up to their own spiritual potential. non-assertive and undisciplined. afraid of success. Frankincense and Patchouli. 179 . At a physical level it is linked to the pineal gland.

2. State the energetic roles of the following: i Yin and Yang ii Meridians 180 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Self-assessment Questions 1. Explain why it is useful for an aromatherapist to have an insight into energy-based concepts in relation to aromatherapy.

Give an example of how essential oils may be used to help address imbalances in i Yin and Yang ii Chakras 181 .Energy-based Concepts in Aromatherapy iii Chakras 3.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition iii Meridians 182 .

Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment
Aromatherapy massage represents the earliest form of treatment used in Roman and Egyptian times, and is still the primary form of treatment used in aromatherapy today. It allows the essential oils to be absorbed through the skin to affect the body and treats the body directly by the therapeutic effects of the massage itself.
> A competent aromatherapist needs to be able to prepare for and provide an aromatherapy massage incorporating a range of techniques.


By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist:
> the benefits of aromatherapy massage > the range of aromatherapy massage techniques and their effects > the hygiene and safety involved in preparing for an aromatherapy massage > relaxation techniques that may be integrated into aromatherapy massage treatments > types of treatment given and commercial timings > after-care advice given to a client following aromatherapy massage > other forms of treatment using essential oils. An aromatherapy massage has three main benefits: > It aids absorption of essential oils into the bloodstream. > There is the psychological benefit of inhaling the vapour itself. > The massage itself has therapeutic effects and can relax and/or stimulate the client.

Aromatherapy Massage Techniques
Massage is the most important method of application of aromatherapy, as it is the most effective way of introducing essential oils to affect the body systems, and there is the added benefit of therapeutic touch.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

Due to the diversity of essential oils and their individual therapeutic properties, the benefits and effects of aromatherapy massage are many:

Psychological benefits
> Enhances a general state of well-being > Calms and soothes the mind > Helps reduce nervous tension > Helps lift the mood and feelings of depression

Physiological benefits
> Enhances lymphatic drainage – helps reduce fluid retention and prevent oedema > Induces a feeling of deep relaxation in the body > Helps to restore balance in the body > Stimulates the body’s natural immunity > Increases the oxygen and nutrient supply to the tissues by increasing the blood circulation > Can help to increase energy levels as blockages and congestion in the nerves are eased. There is a wide variety in the massage techniques used by aromatherapists, depending on training and qualifications. However, aromatherapy massage techniques in general comprise the Swedish massage techniques of effleurage, petrissage, friction and vibrations, alongside techniques such as pressure and neuromuscular. Whatever the method used, the movements used in aromatherapy are generally relaxing movements, omitting the more vigorous techniques such as tapotement. The movements are usually performed slowly, in order to induce relaxation and stress relief.

These are soothing and stroking movements that precede, connect and conclude any massage sequence. They are classified as superficial and deep. Effleurage is performed with the palmar surface of the hand and should follow the venous and lymphatic flow. It is usually performed slowly as it is aimed at the slow circulation.


Effleurage: > promotes venous flow, thereby increasing and improving general circulation > increases lymphatic flow; hastens removal and absorption of waste products > aids desquamation and increases the skin’s elasticity > improves the capillary circulation to the skin and nutrition to the skin’s tissues > provides continuity in the massage by linking other movements > allows client to become accustomed to the aromatherapist’s touch

Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment

> has a soothing effect on sensory nerve endings, inducing a state of relaxation > aids absorption of essential oils into the bloodstream.

This technique involves lifting the tissues away from the underlying structures and is often generically referred to as kneading. Pressure is smoothly and firmly applied and then relaxed. This movement should be performed with supple, relaxed hands that apply intermittent pressure with either one or both hands, or parts of the hands.


Petrissage: > increases circulation and hastens elimination of waste from the tissues > improves the tone and elasticity of muscles due to the increased blood supply > aids relaxation of tense muscle fibres by carrying away products of fatigue and relieving pain.



These are small movements performed with the pad of the thumb or fingertips. They are small concentrated movements exerting controlled pressure on a small area of the surface tissues, moving them over the underlying structures

Friction: > stimulates circulation and metabolism within the tissues > helps to break down and free skin adhesions > aids absorption of fluid around joints > presents the formation of fibrosis in the muscle tissue > can have an invigorating or relaxing effect.

These are fine trembling movements performed along a nerve path with one or both hands, using either the palmar surface of the hands or the fingertips.


Vibrations: > stimulate and clear nerve pathways > create a sedative effect, helping to relieve tension and refresh the client.


Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition

These are forms of massage techniques that use friction, vibration and pressure movements to help influence nerve pathways and muscles. They can help to release energy blocks by stimulating the nerves.


Neuromuscular techniques: > stimulate the nerve supply to the corresponding organ > stimulate cell renewal > clear congestion in the nerves > help to relieve muscular spasms.

These techniques are performed by applying pressures on every inch of the skin with the thumbs or fingers, along the nerve tracts or meridians. These techniques are a form of ‘energy’ massage.


Pressures: > stimulate the nerves and clear energy blocks > ease congestion in the nervous system by relieving tension from the nerve tracts.

Key Note
The increase in blood flow and warmth created by aromatherapy massage techniques increases the rate of absorption of essential oils into the bloodstream. Massage is therefore a very effective way of enhancing the absorption of oils to affect the systems of the body.


Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment

8 Photo 38: The psychological and physiological benefits of massage are considerable. 8

Preparing for the Aromatherapy Massage
Maintaining employment standards
An aromatherapist should present a smart and hygienic working appearance at all times, in order to project a professional attitude. As part of maintaining employment standards, aromatherapists should pay particular attention to the following factors:


Professional workwear should be worn at all times and should be clean and smart. Remember that the appearance of an aromatherapist can greatly influence a client into using their services on a regular basis.


Footwear should be comfortable and clean, and matching the colour of workwear. Shoes should be flat or with a small heel, and enclosed (for hygiene reasons).


Long hair should be tied back with co-ordinating hair accessories; this is not only hygienic, but practical.

It is also important to ensure that they do not build up sensitivity to essential oils. It is also important to avoid wearing strong smelling aftershaves and perfumes. Nails must be kept short and unvarnished. try to avoid overhead lights. It is advisable to air the room regularly between clients. Hands Hands should be kept as soft as possible and protected from harsh chemicals. Atmosphere and noise level Creating a relaxing atmosphere is a very important requirement of the aromatherapy massage. which are glaring and not conducive to relaxation. Towels should preferably match the decor and add to the warmth of the room. by opening windows. 188 . Always ensure before you commence the aromatherapy massage. for hygiene reasons. Decor and colours Colouring should be chosen carefully as some colours are warm. resulting in their hands becoming cracked or sore. Preparation of the treatment area for aromatherapy The treatment area should always look hygienically clean and tidy. which can be aided by using a relaxation tape. that you will not be disturbed by anyone entering the treatment room or a ringing phone. to ensure the atmosphere remains fresh and that the build of aromas in the room is not too overpowering – this could make you or your client feel nauseous. as jewellery may scratch or irritate a client and has the potential to harbour germs. as this may not only be offensive to the client but could interact with the aroma of the essential oils. Ventilation Ensure that the treatment area is well ventilated and draught free. Aromatherapists must ensure that they wash their hands very thoroughly before and after each treatment. Temperature This should be comfortably warm (approximately 70–75 degrees). Privacy A treatment area should always be private to ensure client relaxation. personal hygiene is of paramount importance. whilst others will feel too cold and clinical. Personal hygiene Due to the close nature of working with aromatherapy. This can be achieved by giving thought to the following factors: Lighting This should be soft and discreet. but also comfortable and not too clinical.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Jewellery No jewellery should be worn for applying aromatherapy massage other than a wedding band.

> Check the client for any contagious or infectious disorders. > Ensure client has removed all jewellery. > Ensure client is hygienically prepared for treatment by showering to remove all perfumes and cosmetics. > Wash hands before and after each client to avoid cross-infection. > Keep a well-maintained first-aid kit in the treatment area. > Ensure all floor coverings are slip-proof. > Ensure the correct maintenance of heating and ventilation systems. empty at regular intervals.Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Health. > Maintain all electrical equipment regularly by having it checked by a qualified engineer once a year. there is a specific need to avoid cross-infection. > Install hand-washing facilities in the vicinity of the treatment area. for each client. > Ensure that all equipment is regularly disinfected. The client > Check client for contra-indications to ensure they are suitable for treatment. > Store all product equipment correctly and safely. > Check client’s skin type before treatment. > Keep the area free from obstructions. > Ensure all equipment is stable and fit for use by checking all hinges and locks. > Help clients on and off the massage couch. consideration should be given to: > the treatment area and equipment used > the client > the aromatherapist The treatment area In order to adhere to all health. > Avoid open wounds and sores and ensure they are covered with a waterproof plaster. attention must be paid to the following: > Keep the treatment area hygienically clean at all times. 189 . In order to ensure health and safety. safety and hygiene requirements. if necessary. > Be familiar with the location and the correct usage of fire extinguishers. > Do not give an aromatherapy massage if you are ill or contagious. > Dispose of all rubbish in a lined and covered bin. Safety and Hygiene As aromatherapy massage is a personalised treatment and there is close contact between the client and aromatherapist. > Use clean towels and disposable tissue covering. do a skin test to avoid skin irritation and sensitisation resulting from the incorrect use of essential oils. wearing a suitable head covering if hair is long and that they retain their pants. > Clearly indicate all fire exits and fire evacuation procedures.

> Be familiar with contra-indications so as to know when a client may be treated and when they should be referred to a medical practitioner. Meditation is a very personal experience and can involve a person sitting or lying quietly and focusing the mind. > Use correct posture and stance when carrying out aromatherapy massage. The key to meditation is to quieten the mind and focus completely on one thing. helping muscular relaxation. 190 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The aromatherapist > Present a smart and hygienic appearance at all times. Breathing Deep breathing is a very effective method of relaxation and works well combined with other relaxation techniques such as relaxation imagery. > Avoid cross-infection by using disposable spatulas to remove any products. leading to feelings of dizziness. meditation and progressive muscular relaxation. > Cover all cuts or abrasions with a waterproof plaster. Relaxation Techniques There are several relaxation techniques that may be used to assist a client to relax before. > Be familiar with the fire-fighting equipment. keep lids tightly on bottles. or can be taught in a class situation. reducing blood pressure. > Know the location of the first-aid kit and fire evacuation procedures. During times of stress. resulting in the brain being deprived of sufficient oxygen. Therapists may also facilitate meditation by using positive mental imagery and visualisation in order to help clients focus their mind on their imagery and lift themselves into a state of passive awareness in order to relax. > Wash hands thoroughly before and after each client. during and after their aromatherapy massage: Meditation This is a very effective method of relaxation. breathing becomes shallow and irregular. > Maintain first-aid skills. Deep breathing fills the body with positive energy and clears the mind and can therefore prevent people from getting stressed or can help them gain control more quickly when they feel stressed. > Use equipment and products in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. as the idea is to focus thoughts on relaxing for a period of time. leaving the mind and body to recover from the problems and worries that have caused the stress. It is important for the body to be relaxed and in a comfortable position. > Always wear professional workwear. inability to concentrate and agitation. > Use correct lifting techniques when moving equipment. and helping to clear thinking by focusing and concentrating the mind. Breathing is affected when people experience physical or emotional stress. Meditation can help to reduce stress by slowing down breathing.

Tighten and tense the calf muscles. It may be applied to any group of muscles in the body. this exercise should be combined with breathing exercises and imagery. Breathing properly enables the body to relax and regain its natural balance. Let them drop as if you are a puppet on a string and the string has broken. designed to relax the body when it is tense. such as the image of stress leaving the body. Repeat the exercise 6 times. for a count of 6. Breathing exercise 2 1 Apply the first two fingers of the right hand to the side of the right nostril and press gently to close it. Relaxation exercise 1 Find a place where you can feel comfortable. < 2 Place one hand on the chest and the other across the stomach. press them tightly together. such as yoga. Curl your toes as if you were holding a pencil and hold them for a count of 5 and then relax. Repeat this exercise 6–8 times. Breathe in through the right nostril and hold for a count of 3 and whilst holding transfer the fingers to the right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril. Progressive muscular relaxation (PMR) This is a physical technique. count to 5 and then relax. For maximum effect. PMR is achieved by tensing a group of muscles so that they are as tightly contracted as possible. whilst calming the mind. Breathe out slowly through the right nostril on a count of 3. If a client has difficulty breathing correctly. it may be advisable for them to attend classes that involve structured breathing. 191 3 < 4 < 5 < . The muscles are then held in a state of tension for a few seconds and relaxed. 2 < 3 < 4 < Correct breathing is something that really needs to be practised often until it feels natural and it may then be utilised as a counterbalance to stress. Transfer the first two fingers to the left nostril to close it.Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Breathing exercise 1 1 Sit or lie in a comfortable position and loosen tight clothing. Tighten and tense the thighs. as if < breathing into the stomach. allowing them to fall apart. < 2 Close your eyes and pull your feet towards you as far as you can and then hold them for a count of 5 and < then let them relax. < 3 Inhale deeply through the nose to fill the upper chest cavity and down to the lower part of the lungs. This should result in a feeling of deep relaxation in the muscles. allowing the air to escape from the top of your lungs first before the lower part deflates. count to 5 and then relax. depending on whether one area or the whole body is tense. < Breathe in slowly through the left nostril and hold for a count of 3. 4 < 5 < Exhale slowly to a count of 12.

Imagery and visualisation can often be enhanced by a relaxation tape. > Part body aromatherapy massage applied locally to body parts usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes. calm and relaxing voice. there are several on the market that are designed specifically for aromatherapy massage. When you’re ready. pulling in the muscles. get up gradually. depending on which areas are treated. the water lapping on the shore. By now you should feel relaxed and heavy. by remembering a place or event that was happy and restful and calling upon it to help manage a stressful period. and 1 hour and 15 minutes. count to 5 and then relax. hold to a count of 5 and then relax. count to 5 and then relax. hold that part tense again before relaxing. imagining being on a beach. taste and warmth. Tense the muscles in the jaw and cheeks (as if gritting your teeth). count to 5 and then relax. 192 . with the warmth of the sun. count to 5 and then drop them. smell. count to 5 and then relax. 15 < Note: This exercise will be easier to do if the instructions are on tape. Arch the back and tense the back muscles. > Full aromatherapy massage usually takes between 1 hour. The choice will depend on the client’s needs and preference. Lift your arms up with the hands outstretched as if you were reaching for something. Tense the muscles in the forehead. Hold for a slow count of 5 and then let the arms drop down. Tighten the muscles in the hips and the buttocks. taking your time. Check that all body parts are free from tension and. as if you are sinking into the floor or chair. and most probably the cost. > Full aromatherapy massage including the face and scalp usually takes 1 and a half hours. preferably spoken by a person with a slow. Imagery and visualisation is often more effective and real if it is combined with sounds. Aromatherapy Massage Procedure There are three main forms of treatment offered in aromatherapy massage.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 6 < 7 < 8 < 9 < 10 < 11 < 12 < 13 < 14 < Tighten the abdominal muscles. count to 5 and then relax. for instance. if there are any areas left with tension. Tense the shoulders by raising them to the ears. Imagery and visualisation Imagery techniques can be useful to recreate a retreat from stress and pressure. Tense the muscles around the eyes tightly.

> Formulate a treatment plan with the client: the treatment objectives. > Advise the client to empty their bladder and disrobe ready for treatment. > Select and blend oils ready for use. Before the massage Follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and effective aromatherapy massage: > Carry out a consultation to identify whether the client is unsuitable for treatment. Key Note If the face and scalp are to be included in the treatment. > Ensure client is warm. Most 193 . it is essential that it is adapted to suit the individual needs of the client. and there may be a need to change the previous treatment plan due to a change in the client’s condition or circumstances. It is also important to ensure that the treatment given is cost-effective in terms of time. A client’s needs will vary from treatment to treatment. the treatment method and the time it will take. > Check that all necessary working materials are to hand and the treatment area and couch have been correctly prepared with clean towels and tissues. and ask client to approve the selection. After-care advice The following advice should be given to a client following aromatherapy massage: > Avoid skin washing and bathing for approximately eight hours after treatment as this will enable the essential oils to fully penetrate the skin and have their effects on the body through the bloodstream. > Assess client needs to establish the objectives of the treatment. > Complete records. check that the client agrees with the information and signs the declaration. you will need to ensure that the client’s face has been cleansed and is free from cosmetics and make-up before treatment. and check for contraindications. comfortable and relaxed before treatment commences.Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Key Note Whatever method of treatment is given.

> Complete treatment records ensuring that you have kept an accurate record of essential oils used. with their contents. > Avoid alcohol and smoking: it is important for a client not to smoke or drink for at least 24 hours after treatment as aromatherapy massage is a detoxifying treatment. > Offer client after-care advice. drinking plenty of water and herbal teas can assist in the elimination of toxins from the body and help the healing process. It is also advisable to include an expiry date. > Avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight following the use of any phototoxic oils. Ask how they are feeling and whether treatment has been successful in meeting the overall treatment objectives. > Review the treatment plan with the client. Key Note In order to enhance the effects of the massage. The feeling of tiredness will often be replaced by a feeling of vitality. the client should be advised to rest as much as possible following treatment. 194 . > Offer client a glass of water. > Drink plenty of fresh water and herbal infusions: as aromatherapy is essentially a cleansing treatment. > Make recommendations for a future treatment and book the client’s next appointment. dates and results. amounts used and the date blended. Clients will invariably feel tired after treatment and they will benefit from a good rest. Post-aromatherapy massage procedure > Allow the client to rest while you wash your hands thoroughly to remove all residue of oils. Remember that all blends given to clients must be clearly labelled. aromatherapists may wish to make up individual bath oils for clients to use at home. > Eat a light diet: it is important to eat a light and natural diet as the body needs to concentrate its effort on detoxification and natural healing. > Evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment by gaining feedback from the client. > Allow client to change and help them off the couch. Fresh and natural foods are advisable. because over-refined and processed food adds to the toxicity of the body.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition essential oils can take up to 60 minutes to be absorbed through the skin and can carry out their therapeutic work for up to eight hours afterwards. > Enjoy rest and relaxation: in order to assist the healing process.

Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Task In order to gain as much experience in aromatherapy as possible. take care to disperse in the water as the oils will not dilute in the water. young children and those with sensitive skin: always dilute them in a carrier oil first. 195 . but will float on the top. Try to select as wide a range of clients as possible both in terms of age and condition. A safe amount of essential oil to add to the bath is up to six drops of most oils. using a range of aromatherapy massage movements > evaluate the effectiveness of the treatments > advise the client on after-care and home-care procedures. If adding the essential oils directly to the water. as they could cause adverse skin reactions if used to excess. Other Forms of Treatment Although massage should always be the primary form of treatment. Certain essential oils such as Clove and Cinnamon are unsuitable for use in the bath as they are skin irritants. there are instances when it may be inappropriate or when other forms of treatment may be used to enhance the effectiveness of treatment. Method Essential oils may be added directly to the bath water or blended in carrier oil first. After undertaking a full consultation with them: > formulate and agree a treatment plan > perform aromatherapy massage techniques over a period of time. Aromatic baths This method is effective for clients’ self-use and may be used between treatments to reinforce the treatment given by the aromatherapist. Note: Oils such as Lemon and Peppermint need to be restricted to two or three drops only. Key Note Never use undiluted oils in the bath for babies. carry out several case studies that involve many clients having aromatherapy massage treatments over a period of time.

abscesses. and four drops is the maximum. throat and chest infections. Method A hot compress may be made by filling a bowl with very hot water and then adding four or five drops of essential oil (depending on the oil). for example an arthritic or otherwise injured limb. The hands and feet are highly penetrative areas and. using ice-cold rather than hot water and these are useful for headaches. if someone cannot be obviously treated with massage. Try one drop only the first time: do not inhale for longer than about 60 seconds at a time if you have a history of asthma or allergies. you can then increase the amount of oil used and lengthen the treatment time to five minutes or more. sprains. then repeat. Provided this is well tolerated. Cold compresses are made in a similar way. Compresses This is a very effective way of using essential oils to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. rheumatism. strains and hot. Method The amount of essential oils would be restricted to two–four drops for a hand bath and two–six drops for a foot bath. The simplest form of burner involves a night light and a section that is filled with water. squeeze out the excess and then place over the affected area until it has cooled. earache and toothache. Another way of diffusing essential oils into the atmosphere involves a small heating element and a small pad onto which the drops of essential oil are placed – this is more commonly known as a vaporiser. Method Up to 12 drops of essential oil may be added to the water section of the burner. arthritis. Burners and vaporisers This method is used for vaporising essential oils in a room. Usually one or two capfuls will be sufficient for a bath with the recommended treatment time of 15–20 minutes. vaporising the odour into the atmosphere. Always ensure you have labelled the blend and that you have instructed the client on self-use.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition If making up an aromatic bath oil for a client. Hot compresses are particularly useful for backache. then it is a useful way of absorbing the oils into the bloodstream for therapeutic benefit. swollen conditions. depending on the choice of oils. 196 . the same dilution rate of 2 per cent essential oil to carrier oil applies. The heat of the night light evaporates the water and the essential oil. Hand and foot baths These can be useful to treat areas that cannot be massaged. Dip a piece of absorbent material such as cotton wool or a flannel or lint into the water. Method A single drop may be enough. Steam inhalation This method is especially suited to sinus.

Base creams or lotions may be bought from good essential oil suppliers. 197 . > Add the rest of the cream/lotion and leave a 10 per cent air gap to ensure an even blend of oils. They should be unperfumed and made from pure and natural plant substances. > Label and ensure you have given the client clear instructions for self-application. > Fill the pot or jar with three-quarters of the required cream/lotion and then add the essential oils and shake well. Blending with creams Essential oils may be blended into base creams for client self-application. a little at a time. Key Note It is recommended that the blending ratio for cream and lotions is between 1–5 per cent. > Add any special carriers to the cream/lotion first.Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Key Note Great care must be taken when using burners to ensure that they do not get knocked over and that they are not placed near flammable materials. and mix well. Method > Take an unperfumed cream or lotion. depending on the reasons for usage. as the client may find it easier and more convenient to apply a cream or lotion as part of their home-care treatment.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition 8 Photo 39: Massage to the head 8 198 8 Photo 40: Massage to the back 8 .

Why is massage one of the most effective ways of absorbing essential oils into the bloodstream for therapeutic effect? 2.Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment Self-assessment Questions 1. Describe the effects of the following movements used in aromatherapy massage: i effleurage ii neuromuscular 199 .

4 State five important health and safety factors when preparing the client for aromatherapy massage.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition iii pressures 3. State five important health and safety factors when preparing the treatment area for aromatherapy massage. 200 .

Aromatherapy Massage and Other Forms of Treatment 5. What general after-care advice should be offered to a client following an aromatherapy massage and why? 201 .

202 . more and more business opportunities are developing that will enable therapists to practise aromatherapy professionally. CHAPTER 11 Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following to your work as an aromatherapist: > maintaining employment standards for commercial practice > the requirements for setting up an aromatherapy practice > marketing and advertising > professional ethics > professional associations. One of the main reasons that small businesses fail at an early stage is due to poor management. managing a business.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist As complementary therapies continue to grow in popularity. A successful business depends on > a good image > a good reputation > a high degree of professionalism > sufficient resources to deliver a quality service > effective record keeping. In order to run a successful aromatherapy practice. or working as an employee. it is very important to be able to understand and implement good business practice. it is important not only to be good at the skill you practise but also to develop good business skills that will help you to maintain and develop your business. Whether self-employed. Being a good aromatherapist is not enough to ensure a successful business. > A competent aromatherapist needs to be able to understand the principles of business management in order to be successful and ensure the smooth running of a business.

and the following factors could affect the day-to-day running and the overall efficiency of the business: > communication skills > management and staff responsibilities > working conditions > establishment rules and quality assurance > record keeping > resources – planning and monitoring. 203 . colleagues and other visitors who may enter or telephone the clinic. Communication skills Whether a sole trader or a large business. it is very important to have good listening skills. to ensure that you have received the right information. Communication skills may be used to: > identify clients’ needs > inform clients about a service > inform clients and colleagues of changes in procedures > maintain workplace records Communication may involve: > talking > listening > writing > eye contact > body language. and information needs to be conveyed and received. such as a supplier or another fellow professional.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Maintaining Employment Standards There are several important factors to take into account when working as an aromatherapist in order to maintain and monitor the standard of service you offer to clients. It is very important to clarify what a client has said before acting on it. Good communication means being able to liaise well with clients. Aromatherapists must bear in mind at all times that they are part of the service industry. a successful business relies on good communication. Communication skills are extremely important when there are several colleagues working together in the same clinic. to ensure that you have received the information they are trying to convey to you correctly. It is important not only to perform a skill competently but to be able to apply it in a commercially acceptable way. when you are speaking to a client or a colleague. It is equally important that. If communications skills are broken down for as little as half an hour in a busy clinic. you speak clearly and accurately to ensure that everything has been understood. it can have a very dramatic effect on the service given and the overall efficiency and image of the clinic. When communicating with clients or colleagues over the telephone or in person.

Written communication may involve the recording of messages to colleagues to ensure continuity of service. it is very important that all messages are recorded accurately to ensure continuity of operation and services. It should also be positioned where the person it is intended for will notice it. In the workplace. along with the action required. Try to use effective body language. Written communication An efficient working environment providing services such as aromatherapy to clients relies on accurate. so you should project a professional image from the start. Responding to clients’ requests As clients are at the centre of every business it is essential for therapists to respond to their requests promptly. Eye contact is very important when talking and listening. legible record keeping. but also on the way in which staff work together as a team to maintain the image and professionalism of the establishment. Records may either be computer based or hand written. which is kept up to date. Client records should be completed fully. accurately and legibly at the time of the treatment. accurately and enthusiastically. so that you appear friendly and approachable. facial expressions and gestures. Requests for information may come from a telephone enquiry. even when you are not speaking. Working as a team involves: > building a good rapport with each other > understanding each other’s responsibilities > working efficiently within your own job responsibilities > responding to each other’s requests politely and co-operatively 204 . Non-verbal signs are usually picked up from posture.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition It is most important that non-verbal signs that you send out reflect what you are saying. a personal caller to the workplace or may be in the form of a written request. or the completion of client records in the workplace to ensure therapeutic continuity. dated and timed. Working with colleagues as a team helps enhance smooth operations and promotes a pleasant working environment and a friendly atmosphere. Remember that your personal presentation will make a lasting impression. It is important to assume a friendly and approachable manner when dealing with clients’ requests and use phrases such as ‘How may I help you?’ It is also important to provide accurate information on treatments such as > the benefits of the services > the cost (of individual and courses of treatment) > the treatment duration > any pre-treatment advice (such as not wearing body lotions and perfumes before an aromatherapy massage) > how often the client should attend for maximum benefit. Written communication should be clear. Maintaining effective relationships with colleagues A successful business depends on a good image and reputation.

Meetings provide an opportunity to: > identify and resolve problems in the workplace > avoid breakdown in communication and misunderstandings > contribute and exchange ideas on how workplace practices may be enhanced > identify training needs > maintain good working relationships Establishment rules An aromatherapist should understand that their work activities and responsibilities must comply with the rules of the establishment in which they are working. Establishment rules lay down a benchmark of standards required by the workplace and are set according to the requirements of the individual business. The responsibilities of an aromatherapist to a supervisor are to ensure that they: > adhere to the establishment’s rules > understand and adhere to legislation in relation to the provision of services > report any hazard or potential danger observed in the workplace > have a sincere commitment to provide a high standard of work to enhance the reputation and image of the establishment > carry out work practices with honesty and integrity > complete records fully and accurately > work within their own initiative to make best use of time at work > provide a high standard of work to ensure client satisfaction and repeat business > create a good working relationship with other colleagues to enhance a good working environment > avoid wastage of resources > make recommendations for improvement in workplace practices. and regular meetings can help to maintain effective working relationships. to their clients and to their colleagues. where appropriate > understand how their job role contributes to the success of the business. Communication is essential when working with others in a team. In the workplace. The responsibilities of an aromatherapist to a client are to: > treat clients with dignity and respect > respond to clients’ requests politely and efficiently > accurately inform clients of the services provided by the establishment > provide treatment only when there is a reasonable expectation that it will be advantageous to the client 205 . aromatherapists have a responsibility to their manager or supervisor.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist > providing support and assistance. when required > working together for the needs of the business.

Work conditions Work conditions should ensure maximum satisfaction to both clients and staff. Task Quality assurance Every business. should have a quality assurance policy in order to ensure their services and operation are conducted in a systematic way. 206 . and are dependent on the following factors: > the working environment (heating. however small. Quality assurance policies help to monitor the quality and standard of the service provided and are useful in analysing whether the client’s needs are met efficiently. all staff should be aware of the necessary work procedures to enhance smooth running of the clinic.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > take appropriate measures to protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality > provide a high standard of service to ensure client satisfaction and the fostering of repeat business > make recommendations for future treatments that would benefit the client > make recommendations for home care products that may help their condition. helpful and approachable > share responsibilities fairly to enhance a good team spirit > ensure good communication channels by passing on messages promptly and recording messages accurately > inform others of any changes in establishment procedure. lighting. Encouraging communication with clients on a regular basis can help to monitor the quality assurance policy of the establishment. ventilation) > equipment and materials (sufficient in quality and quantity to carry out work to a client’s satisfaction and in a commercially acceptable time) > procedures – these are set by the management. and continuing professional development > distributing client satisfaction questionnaires > introducing a client suggestions box > implementing changes based on recommendations from clients and staff. Draw up a list of a salon clinic manager’s duties. effectively and consistently. The responsibilities of an aromatherapist to their colleagues are to: > create a good working environment by being friendly. Effective ways of monitoring quality assurance include: > examining workplace practices and how they relate to client needs and the needs of the business > avoiding complacency.

Resources must be planned. They should be done regularly so that you may keep a control on the financial resources of the business. If clients’ records are held on a computer it is a legal requirement to register with the Data Protection Agency. monitoring and controlling of resources involves a combination of the following: 207 .Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Efficient work practices – cost-effectiveness Efficient work practice requires an aromatherapist to perform a skill to the required standard of the establishment and the industry. Aromatherapists need to be aware that by adhering to their appointment times and avoiding wastage they are helping to preserve the business’s precious resources and thereby helping to maintain their security of employment. which is kept up to date and may be either handwritten or computer-based. Stock records and simple accounts records are an essential part of the day-to-day running of the business. such as an accident book. legible record keeping. An efficient clinic relies on accurate. The planning. Cost-effectiveness in terms of the workplace means maintaining treatment times and minimising waste in order to avoid loss of revenue for the establishment. Record keeping Maintaining accurate and legible client records is both a legal and professional requirement. All records should be kept in a secure environment. It is therefore important to avoid subjective. Record keeping includes keeping accurate client records. stock records and any other records of importance. clients have a right of access to any manually stored health records made since November 1991. Resources Resources are the means by which you conduct your business. It helps the aromatherapist to: > establish an appropriate treatment plan for the client > identify special cautions and contra-indications associated with the client’s condition > monitor the client’s progress > protect against a legal claim. Under the Access to Health Records Act 1990. and in a time that is considered to be commercially acceptable. An important factor to remember with client records is to maintain client confidentiality. Key Note It is essential for aromatherapists to take care in what they record in their clients’ notes/records. judgemental or stereotypical phrases and to avoid making references to medical conditions. monitored and controlled to ensure that you stay in business. and a client’s personal details should never be left lying around for anyone to read.

so that you: > avoid keeping other clients waiting > minimise potential inconvenience to a client > ensure a cost-effective treatment. It is equally important not to be over-stocked. If they are not earning money for the business. as this keeps a daily record of all financial transactions. weekly or fortnightly if a large volume of stock is being used. so that they can provide information to prospective clients and sell the service effectively. to ensure that there is adequate stock at all times and to avoid being faced with a disappointed client if you find that you do not have the materials to do the job. and how they can be controlled by minimising waste and being cost-effective. without cutting down on quality. or otherwise monthly stocks checks may be sufficient. taking account of money. consideration must be given to what they can do in the quiet times to promote business. A daily cash book is important. time and services. Equipment These are the tools required to perform the treatments you offer. Stock records are essential. Staff cost money and their time must be used efficiently. 208 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Staff Adequate staff resources are essential to a successful business. The optimum situation is to have the maximum staff available at the busy times and the minimum in the quiet times. You will need to have a short-term and/or long-term financial plan. and to look at ways in which you can save money. Staff must also be well informed about treatments available in the clinic. and for the long term you may require a loan to accommodate future plans. Equipment should be regularly checked and serviced and a record should be kept of this. Materials This involves all items of stock and consumables used in the clinic. Stock checks are ideally carried out in accordance with the level of business conducted. Information Planning and monitoring resources involves good communication between clients and colleagues. An accurate record should be kept of all stock in the clinic. Staff may also contribute to the planning by indicating to the manager that stock is low and needs to be reordered. Treatments must be planned to ensure cost-effectiveness. as you will be tying up any available capital and stock will deteriorate with age. Short-term planning may involve an overdraft to get you out of a difficult patch. It is vital to keep a close eye on your accounts and your profit margin. which are subject to degradation. or even suggesting a new supplier who is more efficient and economical. particularly essential oils and carrier oils. It is essential that staff are aware of resources. Time Timing is an essential factor to consider. in a stock control book. Finance Controlling finance is essential to an efficient business.

which may include the following: > rent or lease > utilities (electricity.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Services These are the services or treatments you offer to a client in the clinic. Research plan Formulating a research plan is essential when considering starting your own business as it enables you to assess the potential of the project. or for improving an existing business by adding aromatherapy. In the long term. There are certain costs associated with a new business. Task Prepare an outline of a Research and Operational Business Plan for starting a new business in aromatherapy. 209 . the time spent planning will help to create more business and save you from wasting valuable money. along with its costs and estimated income. > Carry out some market research by formulating surveys and questionnaires. every service can be improved. Business Planning Running a successful business involves an incredible amount of planning. even if only in a small way. which must be accurate in terms of information provided. which will form a basis for the points to consider. time and resources. Take account of the factors detailed below. to assess the need for your service in your area. No matter how efficient or successful a business. There are many factors to consider when formulating a research plan: Client requirements > Decide what client market you are aiming at and the individual needs of those clients. > Ask yourself whether their needs will be met by your service and available resources. every business should involve short-term and long-term planning. as well as customer requirements. lighting) > equipment and supplies > furniture > decorating > stationery and printing > advertising > insurance > legal and professional fees. and take account of consumer legislation.

and especially when leasing or buying premises. Due to the diversity of aromatherapy practices it is possible to combine renting space in a clinic with home visiting or working from home. reception. As these involve considerable expense.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Premises An important consideration for an aromatherapist is where to offer their services. rent. Advantages of working from home > Overheads are low > No travelling expenses > Flexible working hours > Can make good use of time in between clients Disadvantages of working from home > Difficulty in separating work from home life due to the environment > Possible safety risk with strangers > Requires a high level of commitment and self-discipline Advantages of home visiting > Reduces overheads > Provides the aromatherapist with a flexible working approach > Can reach clients who would otherwise be unable to use the service Disadvantages of home visiting > More time-consuming due to the travelling time/setting up > Need to be highly organised to ensure cost-effectiveness Advantages of renting space in a salon/clinic > Opportunity to work with and network with other professionals > The salon/clinic will already have an established clientele (a captive audience) > Costs and resources may be shared (e. the various options need to be considered with potential clients in mind as well as their own needs. For each work setting there are advantages and disadvantages and these should be considered carefully. advertising. etc.g. It is important to seek expert legal and professional advice before entering into an agreement.) Disadvantages of renting space in a salon/clinic > Rent is beyond individual therapist’s control and is subject to increases > Resources and furnishings may not be to liking > Appointments and enquiries may be dealt with by others 210 . it is wise to build an established clientele before considering such a commitment.

You will need to take account of the following: > What services do you intend to offer? Draw up a price list that includes a detailed description of the treatments on offer. Finance What finance do you have available. and how your service will differ from theirs. Equipment What equipment and materials will you need to carry out the plan. Specialist advice Consider what professional help you will need in setting up your business. and what legislation (local and national) is relevant to your business. as it sets out the actual running of the business. 211 . You may also wish to consider the competition in your catchment area. Operational plan An operational plan is the next stage from the research plan. and perhaps enlist the help of a business advisor. the price and the time allocated to each treatment. as well as Business Link services (a government incentive run locally) are all a useful source of reference where a considerable amount of support is available to help small businesses. so that you may assess the starting-up costs. Banks and Local Enterprise Agencies. accountant or solicitor. and controlling resources and generating income as well as practising > A high level of commitment and motivation is required Catchment area Look into the catchment area and decide who your potential customers are.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist > Overheads may be high > May not be room for expansion Advantages of leasing/buying premises > Complete control over where to practise > Freedom to develop business as you want > Room for expansion > Can let space to other practitioners to share costs Disadvantages of leasing/buying premises > More risks involved – high capital investment required > A considerable amount of time needs to be allocated to managing the finances. to inject into the business? Will it be self-financed or externally financed? Look at the advantages and disadvantages of short-term (overdrafts) and long-term finance (loans). Legal requirements Consider what legal requirements you will need to take account of to ensure good commercial practice. and how much will it all cost? What stock will you need and in what quantity? Make a list of all expenditure.

it is important to work on the direct approach to marketing and promotion as this is relatively free and often the most effective! The direct approach to marketing and promotion of aromatherapy Personal recommendation/word of mouth This is the most valuable form of advertising for personal treatments like aromatherapy. and will also help to break down barriers or preconceptions they may hold about the therapy. catchment area and your individual overheads. you may just require an answer-phone to take your messages when you are busy with clients. as it gives the aromatherapist 212 . in order to maximise your business opportunity. Once an aromatherapist has established a reputation for excellent customer service and quality skills. There are many different aspects to marketing. a satisfied client will automatically recommend the service to another potential client. > How do you intend to advertise your services? Consider the different ways in which you can inform clients of your services. Comply with any legal or professional association requirements. It is useful to identify the needs of the target audience prior to the presentation. by considering the income against the expenditure. > What will you need to protect your business interests? Consider the types of insurance required for your business in the event of any loss. As aromatherapy is a very personal service. competition. Talks should be informative and educational in nature (they should tell potential clients how aromatherapy will benefit them). > What can you do to ensure good public relations and a good professional image? Consider the ways in which you can project a good public image through your business. The power of the spoken word is very effective in the marketing of services. Positive enthusiasm is infectious and even if the person you are speaking to does not need the information they may pass it on to someone who does. > What price do you intend to charge for the services? The prices you charge will be dependent on the market. It is important for aromatherapists to be positive about what they do as self-confidence is one of the best marketing tools. but the aim is always the same: to attract clients who will want to buy what you have to offer. or you may wish to employ a receptionist to book your appointments. Remember that the service you offer is unique to you and therefore you must value it first in order to put a price on your service. There is a wide range of client groups aromatherapy can help and a demonstration will help to introduce the target audience to the benefits and effects.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition > Which hours of business do you intend to operate? Consider what times clients will be available to use your services. > How will you ensure quality assurance? Consider how you can improve on customer service and enhance client satisfaction. > What staff will you need and at what times? If you are a sole trader. Talks and demonstrations Talks and demonstrations are an effective way of stimulating interest and generating potential clients and targeted groups and they usually work best when presented together. Consider how much you intend to earn and what the potential income of the business is.

A useful checklist when preparing for talks is to: > find out as much as possible about the target group before the talk > confirm the number of people that will be attending > check out the venue and its suitability > plan out the talk with a basic outline format > have a plentiful supply of literature to hand out > prepare a list of possible questions you may be asked. Talks and demonstrations are better when limited to a maximum of 30–40 minutes. The focus of the talk should be about identifying and providing solutions to the clients’ needs. When exhibiting it is important to ensure that it is the right type of show for the image of the business or therapist. and specimen answers > take some relaxation music to help create a relaxing ambience > aim to involve the audience in the session (encourage questions or use of them to demonstrate on) > arrive early to plan the room layout and set up > take your appointment book with you! Tips when giving talks to the public include: > rehearsing the material to be used beforehand (know your subject) > use appropriate language (avoid jargon or words that are too technical) > speak clearly and confidently (smile) > make eye contact with the audience > plan your talk carefully so there is a clear start. neat and tidy > there is space for people to browse without feeling intimidated. with time left to answer questions and to distribute business cards and literature. and are approachable to talk to > the stand looks attractive. In order to project the right image at an exhibition it is important to ensure that: > the stand is accessible and situated to your best advantage > staff on the stand look warm and welcoming. and space to demonstrate the skills you are promoting. and to speak to people who have attended the exhibition previously in order to gain feedback from them. Local exhibitions Exhibitions are an effective way to communicate with lots of potential clients in one place. middle and end > summarise and repeat the key points of the talk > allow sufficient time for questions > use visual aids to stimulate interest.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist the advantage of being able to personalise the session. It is a useful way of distributing brochures and leaflets and of persuading new clients to watch a demonstration of a new service and sample it. 213 .

3 < Donating your time. Every day editors and journalists are looking for stories and information to fill their newspapers or magazines. which may be sent to local and national newspapers and magazines. 2 < Sending information or news concerning your business to editors of newspapers or magazines in the form of a news article.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition It is also important. interesting. 1 < Offering a free talk and demonstration to a particular client group in the community is an ideal way of marketing aromatherapy and helping to get your name and reputation established. Public relations This is a way for aromatherapists to get their name in the public eye without actually paying for advertising. Building a referral network This is one of the most successful and inexpensive ways of creating new business. money or products to a local worthwhile charity. Current satisfied clients are one of the most effective means of advertising. There is a variety of ways in which it can be done. addresses and phone numbers may be obtained from your local library). preferably one with whom you have already established contact > ensure that it is laid out clearly (preferably double-lined spaced) and is no longer than two pages > always include a contact name. 214 . There are many charitable organisations that rely on donations each year to survive. to take the names and contact numbers of those who visited the stand in order that you may contact them after the exhibition. address and telephone number. When compiling a press release the following guidelines may help to increase your chance of publication: 4 < 5 < > think of an original. An event linked to funding or sponsoring a charity would be a newsworthy article. Public interest in complementary therapies is increasing all the time and there are many groups that meet regularly who may be keen to hear from you (a list of contact names. An important consideration when sending information to journalists is only to send information that is truly of interest to the community and their readers. Referrals can be encouraged by: > offering existing clients incentives to introduce new clients to use your service > establishing links with other professionals by making yourself and what you do known to them. Getting a regular or one-off slot on the local radio. Compiling a press release. if possible. as well as helping to meet the needs of the community. thought-provoking or even humorous headline > avoid trying to sell your service > it should be newsworthy and of interest to the journalists and their readers > address the information directly to a named editor or journalist.

as the articles they write tend to hold a lot of weight with readers. concise 215 .Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Key Note Editorials in the newspapers and magazines are seen to be credible and true as readers place a considerable amount of trust in the objectivity of journalists. Advertising is about getting your message across. catchy. It is therefore worth getting to know editors and journalists and being persistent. Indirect approach to marketing and promotion There are several other methods of advertising or marketing that may be used in order to reach the potential clients you cannot reach in person and these include: > newspaper advertising > specialist magazines > national directories > mailshots > leaflets and promotional material > the internet > cross merchandising promotional literature Advertising strategies usually involve a mix of different media and should be scheduled over a period of time for maximum effects. accurate and not misleading. Important considerations when considering an advertisement are: > What do you want to say to potential clients? > Who is your target audience? > How will you communicate to them what you want to say? It is essential to follow the tried and tested AIDA formula when considering your publicity: A – attracting attention – this can be created by an appropriate eye-catching heading I – generating interest – this can be created by stating what is on offer D – creating desire – this can be created by stating why what you have to offer is needed and getting potential clients to believe in the benefits A – motivating action – this can be created by offering the reader an incentive (special offer) Good advertisements are usually targeted to the right audience. Isolated advertisements rarely sustain enough interest.

Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition and memorable. Health. A good advert should be easy to read and be written to: > touch people’s emotions > be informative > promote the service > raise awareness > motivate the reader to act. Free. Results. When designing adverts. announcements and events. unless you have paid to have a particular space such as the front or back page. horoscope). It is always a gamble when relying on display advertising as it may be largely dependent on the following: > the day of the week the paper is printed > the time of year > the page the advert appears on > the layout of the advert in relation to the other advertisers. Benefits. crosswords. Local papers There are two types of advertisements in newspapers and these are display advertisements and business classified. Now. Effective adverts must have a good headline (select a major benefit for this) to have immediate impact. or the television page. Display advertising is more expensive and could appear anywhere in the paper. which could prove very expensive. An important point to consider with display advertising is that people buy papers for many reasons other than to read adverts (reading news. It is therefore important to 216 . Yes. Complementary. A good headline will: > attract readers’ attention > compel the person to read further > improve response > express the most important benefits. New. ask yourself what adverts you responded to and why. Key Note Words that tend to sell in adverts include: You.

Often another person will spot something you have missed. It can also help to have a picture of yourself in the advert as it will be more eye-catching and will help the potential client to feel they know you. It is also important to ensure that any marketing material reflects the image you wish to portray and that it appeals to the target market. In fact it may take many exposures to your advert before this person feels you are sufficiently familiar to give you a try. that adverts are repeated regularly in the same way in order to create familiarity. It is also useful to consider that the person reading the news and features may come across your display advert and may not be thinking about a massage until he or she sees your advert. When you have designed an advert.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist consider how your advert is going to grab their attention. It is important to remember when writing adverts that you are speaking directly to your potential clients and the reader will be initially attracted by your headline message. and the AIDA principle. Choose words carefully so that they strike a chord with the client. therefore. Display advertising is usually more effective when it is combined with some editorial. Often papers run special features on health-related matters and it may be more appropriate to consider a display advert within a feature as it draws the reader’s attention to a more focused subject. or they may not be ready to have a massage for some time. It is important. rather than the name of your business. brochures and posters are the means by 217 . Specialist magazines These are usually targeted at a specific audience and those related to health are normally of most interest to a holistic therapist. Key Note Check the readership profile. Classified advertising is more cost effective than display advertising as it is more targeted to the service to be provided. Promotional materials such as leaflets. The disadvantage with classified is that there may not always be an appropriate section for aromatherapy and advertising will need to be placed frequently in order to make it effective. as this motivates action. circulation radius and readership numbers before committing to advertising in magazines. it is often helpful to ask friends and colleagues to cast an eye over the design and the wording for critical review. such as a deadline on a special offer. bearing in mind that newspapers have a short life span. Remember that many clients reading promotional material may not know they are looking for your service until they see it. The main drawback is that they are national and whether the advertising will be effective will depend on the readership and the location of the therapist. Promotional material When writing and designing promotional material the key to success is to write it as if you know the client personally. It is often helpful to give the reader a cause to reply now.

as the main theme is to address the needs of all the respondents. The focus should be on the respondent’s needs. If you are sending a mailshot to clients’ homes. 218 . aim to send the information to arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday and not a Friday or Monday. personal. Mailshots Mailshots can be a worthwhile exercise but require a degree of planning and thought. If you are sending a mailshot to companies. aim for it to arrive on a Friday or Saturday ready for the weekend when they may have more time to consider what you are offering. They must be attractive enough to make people want to read them and wording should be positive. It is also a long-term form of advertising and can prove to be cost effective as it is a yearly publication. direct and. it is important to consider the day it is mailed out as this could have a significant effect on the result. Publications and directories Advertising in national publications and directories such as Yellow Pages can be an effective way of promoting your business. Each employee may be issued with a corporate membership card. Mailshots usually have a success or response rate of around 2 per cent. Brochures and posters with a question and answer format can help clients to overcome their objections and visual aids can help to attract attention. it is worth offering the incentive of corporate membership as a promotion to motivate more clients to use your service. It is far more effective to target a specific group when designing a mailshot. The letter should be sent on headed note paper and be brief and concise. You may choose to target self-help groups with a common need of relaxation or to write to the Occupational Health Advisor at local companies offering to give free talks and demonstrations as part of their stress management programme. It is also important to use positive language and turn a negative statement (such as a client’s problem) into a positive one (how your treatment is going to help them). although it is helpful to send background information on yourself together with information on aromatherapy. although this may be increased to 5 per cent by follow-up phone calls. When sending a mailshot. which entitles them to a certain percentage of discount. Including testimonials from satisfied clients (with their permission) can also help to build credibility and break down barriers. as it is targeted to a specific skill area by virtue of the fact it is classified by therapy type. Key Note If writing to companies.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition which clients will decide whether to contact you for an appointment. above all.

There are four main ways of fostering repeat business: > creating an understanding of the benefits of the treatments you provide to clients by encouraging them to book regular treatments > awarding loyalty bonuses and reward schemes (such as those offered by major supermarket chains) > staying in touch with your clients and informing them of special offers and any new treatments you may have added to your treatment menu and how they can benefit them > inviting clients to attend talks and events you may be holding. Cross-merchandising promotional literature Consider other local businesses that cater to clientele similar to yours (such as osteopaths. the next goal is to encourage them to come back again. Creative marketing opportunities Other creative marketing opportunities could be to offer gift certificates linked to promotions at specific times of the year such as Christmas. health food shops and clinics etc. birthdays. Internet Some aromatherapists are now taking advantage of a web page or site on the internet as a means of advertising their treatments. However. as it is a very cost effective and immediate form of marketing. etc. chiropractors. Exchange promotional literature and brochures with them. physiotherapists. Encouraging client retention The first goal of marketing is to encourage potential clients to try out your services. Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or for other occasions such as exam successes. it is important to establish a friendly. It is certainly worth considering a web page as a potential source of enquiries and contact. Professional Ethics Professional ethics reflect the professional standards and moral principles that govern an aromatherapist’s course 219 .Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Aromatherapists should also consider their geographical location and. An attractively designed web page including a treatment menu and a photograph of the therapist may enhance contact from any interested parties.) and which may be in a position to influence clients to try aromatherapy. If there are several aromatherapists advertising under the same category then it is important to consider your USP (unique selling point) and stress this in order to give a point of difference from competitors. as this will enhance the success of the promotion on both sides. if they are situated between two counties. approachable and co-operative working relationship. Valentine’s Day. When approaching such businesses with a view to cross merchandising. it may be advisable to take an advert in more than one directory. it is also important to remember that not every potential client will have access to the internet and may prefer the more traditional means of contact. this will give each party additional exposure to the type of clients they wish to attract. Specially packaged courses of treatments often attract interest as they are designed specifically to address the needs of the respondents.

and reflects the professionalism of the industry and that it does not contravene any consumer legislation. > Conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. up-to-date records of client treatment. A therapeutic relationship should always involve distance between an aromatherapist and a client. > Never diagnose a medical condition or injury. > Never abuse the client–therapist relationship. irrespective of creed. The setting of boundaries can provide the foundation upon which an aromatherapist can build a professional relationship with a client. therapists or other health-care professionals. including advice given and the outcome/s. > Have commitment to the industry in providing the highest quality of service to clients at all times. colour or sex. in order to make it safe for both parties. safety and hygiene legislation. > Accurately inform clients. > Be courteous to clients and treat them with dignity and respect. Setting professional boundaries In order to have a healthy and professional relationship with clients there should be a balance between care and compassion for the client and keeping a distance from any personal involvement. Clients need to be given space to facilitate healing in a 220 . social or political views of the client. > Explain the treatment accurately to the client and discuss the fees involved with the client before any treatment commences. > Never discriminate against other clients. the client’s written permission must be sought.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition of action and behaviour. members of the public and other health-care professionals of the scope and limitations of aromatherapy. > Always present a professional image by practising the highest standards of personal and salon/clinic hygiene. > Ensure that their working premises comply with all current health. Typical guidelines relating to a code of ethics for aromatherapists are as follows: > Acknowledge contra-indications for aromatherapy. > Represent the industry honestly by only providing services in which they are qualified to practise. or prescribe and/or advise the use or disuse of medication. spiritual. unless disclosure is required by law. with honesty and integrity. > Be adequately insured to practise the therapy or therapies in which they are qualified. > Have respect for the religious. > Provide treatment only when there is reasonable expectation that it will be advantageous to the client. > Keep accurate. All professional aromatherapy associations publish their own code of ethics that their members are required to follow. race. > Safeguard the confidentiality of all client information. > Maintain and improve professional development through continuing education and personal development. > Never give unqualified advice or claim to cure. > Ensure that any advertising is accurate. and refer to the appropriate health professional before any treatment is given. If liaison is required with a health-care professional. > Act in a co-operative manner with other health-care professionals and refer cases that are out of the therapy field in which they practise.

flood or storm damage. and therefore aromatherapists need to keep a healthy distance from a client and their problems. Insurance Insurance is a necessity in business as it helps to protect your assets. There is always a risk of transference in a client–therapist relationship. which is negotiated by your professional association > regular magazines and newsletters. If either of these situations occurs. It protects an employer against any claims brought about by an employee who may get injured on the premises. if you are making up blends for clients’ self-use. which reflects the trademark of a professional > professional indemnity insurance at a very reasonable rate. In the case of aromatherapy. which keep you up to date with the latest information on the industry > an advisory service > regular meetings and seminars to meet other colleagues and update your knowledge. A certificate of employer’s liability must be displayed in the clinic. Listed below are different types of insurance: > Professional indemnity this protects you in the event of a claim arising from malpractice. it will usually be the landlord’s responsibility to insure the building against the perils listed above. There is also a risk of countertransference when a therapist has difficulty in maintaining a professional distance from the client’s problems and begins to step into a friend/counsellor role. including: > a badge and certificate to display to the public. If you are renting. > Contents insurance this protects the stock. Professional Associations Becoming a member of a professional association helps to give you an identity as a professional and has many other benefits. > Personal accident insurance this protects you against loss of income in the event of an accident preventing you from working.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist therapeutic relationship. explosion. The cover may also include damage to a client’s property if home visiting. equipment and fittings in your clinic against damage or loss. This cover may also be extended to include equipment and stock if home visiting. > Public liability this protects you in the case of a client or member of the public becoming injured on your premises. > Employer’s liability this is a legal requirement if you employ staff. accidental damage etc. > Product liability this type of insurance protects you against claims arising from products used. > Buildings insurance this protects the building against damage such as fire. Policies of this nature have certain exclusions and restrictions. it is important for a therapist to realise how potentially damaging this can be for a client and how it detracts from their healing process. review your household policy concerning the liability of operating a business from home. in which a client begins to personalise the professional relationship and thus steps over the professional boundary. and advice should be sought from your professional association or through a broker to ensure that you obtain the best policy. it is essential for you to have ‘selling-on liability’. Ask for a copy of the policy to check that it is current. If you are working from home. 221 .

Breakages and Waste in the Workplace Safety and Security in the Workplace Employers’ Liability Act 1969 The Sale of Goods Act 1979/The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 Consumer Protection Act 1987 Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (amended 1987) Data Protection Act 1984 Performing Rights Act Consumer protection legislation. safety and hygiene regulations to develop safe working practices. including: Legislation relating to health and safety Health. safe and secure working environment for yourself. it is essential for the aromatherapist to be familiar with the implications of the following legislation and information: 1 < The Industry Code of Practice for Hygiene in Beauty Salons and Clinics (published by Vocational Training Charitable Trust). safety and hygiene are of paramount importance in the workplace. including: > > > > > > > > > > > > 3 < > > > > > > Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982 Local authority bye-laws The Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 (procedures in the event of accidents. breakages) Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 1998 Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 Reporting of Injuries. In order to ensure a healthy. This specifies correct hygiene precautions in order to avoid cross-infection. spillages. not only for those employees who work there. The Law requires that every place of employment is a healthy and safe place. but also for clients and other visitors who may enter the workplace. 2 < Legislation relating to hygiene and safety. clients and colleagues. Failure to comply with legislation may have serious consequences such as: > claims from injured staff or clients 222 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Legal Requirements An important part of being an aromatherapist and running a clinic is understanding and following health. Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) Dealing with Spillages.

> To ensure that all staff are aware of safety procedures. it is important to remember that those working from home or undertaking home visiting are still required to register. 223 . and this usually includes massage and the provision of ultra-violet treatments. > To have safety equipment checked regularly. materials and equipment used. Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. > To keep all equipment up to health and safety standards. contractors’ employees and members of the public. Only operators working under medical control (as in a hospital) are specifically excluded from registration. Bye-laws vary between local authorities. the licensing may cover what are termed ‘special treatments’. and their assistants > the sterilisation and disinfection of instruments. Local authority byelaws The primary concern of this Act is with efficient hygienic practice. In some areas saunas are licensed and in others they are not. as does the licensing and inspection system involved. their employees. The Act covers a range of legislation relating to health and safety and both the employer and employee have responsibilities under it. > To ensure safe systems of work. Bye-laws are made by the local authority to ensure: > the cleanliness of the premises and fittings > the cleanliness and hygiene of the persons registered. In areas where licensing and registration are required. Large local authorities may have their own legislation under which similar establishments to beauty salons are licensed. If there are more than five employees a written Health and Safety Policy is required. It is wise to seek the advice of your local authority Environmental Health Officer regarding local legislation that may affect your business. by providing safety information and training. > To ensure the environment is free from toxic fumes. safety and welfare of themselves. In such cases. Note: Local Environmental Officers have the authority to fine or cancel the registration of a business that does not maintain and monitor safe hygienic practices.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist > loss of trade through bad publicity > closure of the business. The responsibilities of the employer > To safeguard as far as possible the health. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 The Health and Safety at Work Act provides a comprehensive legal framework to promote and encourage high standards of health and safety in the workplace.

If the workplace is considered to be low-hazard (such as a holistic therapy clinic) there should be at least one first aider for every 50 employees. time and circumstances of the accident and details of the injury. They should always be adequately stocked and should not contain medication of any kind. and treatment given. antiseptic cream. Refresher courses should be started before a certificate expires. what medical services are available and the number of employees. first-aid certificates are valid for three years. > To co-operate with others in all matters relating to health and safety. The HSE booklet COP 42 First Aid At Work (ISBN 0 11 885536 0) contains an Approved Code of Practice and guidance notes to help employers meet their obligations. First aiders must undertake training and obtain qualifications approved by the HSE. The number of first aiders needed in the workplace depends primarily on the degree of hazards.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition The responsibilities of the employee > To adhere to the workplace rules and regulations concerning safety. > To take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and others. scissors. If there are fewer than 50 employees. place. Each record should include at least the name of the patient. 224 . there should always be an appointed person present when people are at work if no trained first aider is available. quick sling. First-aid kits First-aid kits should only contain items that a first aider has been trained to use. > Not to interfere with or wilfully misuse anything provided to protect their health and safety. The form it should take will depend on various factors including the nature and degree of hazards at work. wound dressings. eye pads. plasters. otherwise a full course will need to be taken. safety pins and vinyl gloves. First aiders should record all cases they treat. A general purpose first-aid kit will contain the following items: bandages. > To follow safe working practices and attend training as required. date. Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation 1981 Under the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 workplaces must have first-aid provision. At present. Key Note The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a guide to the laws on Health and Safety and it is a requirement that an employer displays a copy of this poster in the workplace.

all new fire extinguishers must be coloured red. it is advisable to contact your local Fire Safety Department for advice. Water extinguishers are usually colour-coded red. but they all have different symbols and colour codes to show what type of fire they should be used for. with their respective colour code: > Water (red) > CO2 (black) > Dry Powder (blue) > Foam (cream). The above fire extinguishers are colour coded in order to allow quick and easy identification and to avoid using the wrong type and put yourself and others in danger. 225 . The main body colour of the extinguisher has changed over the past few years (any new extinguisher purchased or leased will be predominantly red). either: > the entire body of the extinguisher is coloured in the type colour > predominantly red with a 5 per cent second colour to indicate the contents of the extinguisher > predominantly red with a bold coloured block in the relevant colour stating its type. however the type colours have remained the same. Other types of extinguisher fall into different categories. Note: It is a legal requirement for an employer to apply for a fire certificate if the business employs 20 or more staff. It is important for all establishments to have set procedures in the event of a fire and that all staff are aware of them. > all premises have fire-fighting equipment that is in good working order > the equipment is readily available and is suitable for all types of fire > all staff are familiar with the establishment’s evacuation procedures and the use of fire-fighting equipment > fire escapes are kept free from obstruction and clearly signposted > smoke alarms are fitted > fire doors are fitted to help control the spread of fire. If you are in any doubt about the type of fire extinguisher to use in the workplace.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Fire Precautions Act 1971 The Act enforces that: This legislation is concerned with fire prevention and adequate means of escape in the event of a fire. Note: Any extinguishers that are not the correct colour will be replaced when they become unserviceable. Since 1997. Fire extinguishers There are different fire extinguishers designed to deal with different types of fire. The main types of fire extinguishers are as follows.

insulation and that there are no loose or frayed wires. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 1998 Regulations under this legislation require employers to regulate employees’ exposure to hazardous substances. burn the skin or give off fumes. Attention is drawn to any substances that may cause irritation. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 This legislation requires an employer to: > provide suitable protective clothing and equipment for all employees to ensure safety in the workplace > ensure staff are adequately trained in the use of chemicals and equipment > ensure that equipment is suitable for its purpose and is kept in a good state of repair. In the case of legal action.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Regulations under this legislation are concerned with safety in connection with the use of electricity. a record book may serve as important evidence. which may cause ill health or injury in the workplace and involves risk assessment. if required. > Speak clearly giving details of the emergency. Emergency procedures In the event of an emergency in the workplace (fire. All checks should be listed in a record book. It is recommended that electrical equipment be checked regularly (at least once a year) by a competent person such as a qualified electrician or the local electricity board. Risk assessment involves making an itemised list of all the substances used in the workplace or sold to clients that may be hazardous to health. The regulations under this legislation cover minimising risks from lifting and handling large or heavy objects and require certain measures to be taken such as correct lifting techniques to avoid musculo-skeletal disorders. repetitive strain disorders and unsuitable posture causing back pain. Instructions for handling and disposing of all hazardous substances must be made available to all staff and training provided. stating the results of the tests and the recommendations and action taken in the case of defects.) it is important to remain calm and act quickly: > Dial 999 and ask for the relevant service. 226 . Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 This legislation covers musculo-skeletal disorders primarily caused by manual handling and lifting. allergic reactions. accident etc. The checks that should be made in connection with electrical equipment include checking the fusing. > Listen carefully to any instructions you are given. Manufacturers will usually supply information relating to their products and therapists should be able to recognise hazard warning symbols on labels and packaging.

Task Check the health and safety regulations in your college/salon/clinic. sex. must be entered into an accident register.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Reporting of Injuries. occupation and contact details) > date and time of the accident > place where the accident occurred > a brief description of the accident > the nature of the injury > the action taken > signatures of all parties concerned (preferable). The regulations under this legislation also require that. however minor. if anyone is seriously injured or dies in connection with an accident in the workplace. When handling breakages: > clear up immediately > wrap up sharp items such as glass before placing them into the waste refuse. This is a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Safety and security in the workplace The proprietor of a salon or clinic is required by law to ensure adequate security of their business premises. What is the procedure in the event of a fire or accident? Dealing with spillages. breakages and waste in the workplace When handling a spillage: > wipe up immediately and warn staff and clientele. An accident report form should detail the following information: > details of the injured person (age. then the employer must send a report to the Local Authority Environmental Health Department within seven days. Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) This legislation requires that all accidents that occur in the workplace. If the area is still wet. or if anyone is off work for more than three days as a result of an accident at work. The 227 . When handling waste: > dispose of in a covered bin > empty the bin daily. display a sign indicating the potential hazard. or if a specified occupational disease is certified by a doctor.

Security recommendations include: > fitting locks and bolts on doors and windows > installing a burglar alarm > fitting security lights > ensuring there is a minimum number of key holders > leaving a light on at night. 228 . Consumer legislation It is important for therapists to be aware of the implications of consumer legislation in the unfortunate event of having to deal with a client seeking compensation for products or services received. This is important not only for peace of mind but also for insurance requirements. Money > Have a safe for short-term storage of money and valuables. In order to minimise risks. Staff should be vigilant over their own property as well as that of clients and keep handbags and other items of value in a safe place. Employers’ Liability Act 1969 This legislation requires the employer to provide insurance cover against claims for injury or illness as a result of negligence by the employer or other employees. > Never leave money in the till overnight. A certificate of Employers’ Liability insurance must be displayed in the workplace. > Always keep the till locked with a minimum number of key holders. it is advisable to recommend that clients keep a minimum amount of money and valuables on them. When clients are removing jewellery.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition following steps may be taken to ensure maximum security. preferably at the front of the premises > ensuring all windows and doors are checked before leaving the premises. it is important for valuable items to be kept in a safe place for the duration of the treatment. Stock A good stock control system is needed in the workplace in order to monitor the use of consumables and retail products and this should be documented in a stock control book. It is important for clients to be aware of this by displaying a disclaimer sign in a reception area. Recommendations for safeguarding stock include: > always keep supplies in a locked cupboard > issue keys to a limited number of authorised staff only > have a locked cabinet for display purposes or use a ‘dummy stock’ to avoid shoplifting. Personal belongings It is not possible for aromatherapists to take responsibility for a client’s personal belongings when they attend for treatments.

in that goods and services provided should be of reasonable merchantable quality. The Act provides the same rights to anyone injured by a defective product. the products used on them during a treatment and products sold to them for home use. To be misleading includes any wrongful indications about conditions attached to a price. and be fit for their intended purpose. The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 Consumer Protection Act 1987 This legislation amends the previous Acts and has introduced guidelines on defining the quality of goods. Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (amended 1987) This Act prohibits the use of false descriptions or to sell or offer the sale of goods that have been described falsely. The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 covers rights relating to the standards of service. It is important to understand its provision. where the description is given by another person and repeated. The term ‘price indication’ also includes price comparisons. This Act provides the consumer with protection when buying goods or services to ensure that products are safe for use on the client during the treatment. within a reasonable time and for a reasonable cost. It covers advertisements such as oral descriptions. Thus to repeat a manufacturer’s claim is to be equally liable. services or facilities. whether the product was sold to them or not. as an offence could result in legal proceedings. clients have rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. which takes place between the retailer (the clinic/salon) and the consumer (the client). including the promotion of special offers. The Sale of Goods Act 1979/The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 As consumers of products and services.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist Clients have a right to expect quality in the service they receive. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 was the first of the laws and covers rights including the goods being accurately described without misleading the consumer. 229 . display cards and applies to quality and quantity as well as fitness for purpose and price. It is essential to understand the implications of this legislation. about what you expect to happen to a price in the future and what you say in price comparisons. or are safe to be sold as a retail product. This legislation identifies the contract of sale. The Act also requires that the service provided to a consumer should be carried out with reasonable skill and care. The Act also covers giving misleading price indications about goods. described accurately. Consumer legislation is designed to protect any person who buys goods or services to ensure that: > the goods are of merchantable quality > the goods are not faulty > there is an accurate description of the good or service.

Self-assessment Questions 1. Performing Rights Act If a therapist is using relaxation music when carrying out aromatherapy treatments in the workplace it may be necessary to obtain a licence from Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) or the Performing Rights Society (PRS). an organisation that collects licence payments as royalties on behalf of performers and record companies whose music is protected under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1998. the establishment must be registered under this Act. Businesses should therefore ensure that they: > only hold information that is relevant > allow individuals access to the information held on them > prevent unauthorised access to the information. When seeking to play music in treatment premises it is important to check whether the music is copyright free. The Data Protection Act operates to ensure that the information stored is used only for the purposes for which it was given. What are the responsibilities of an employer under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974? 230 . If client records are stored on computer. or whether it is protected under this legislation.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Data Protection Act 1984 This legislation protects clients’ personal information being stored on a computer. in which case no licence fee is due.

6. State five important types of insurance requirements when practising as an aromatherapist. 4. State four requirements of the Fire Precautions Act 1971.Basic Business Skills for the Aromatherapist 2. 3. Why are professional ethics important to a practising aromatherapist? 231 . What is the importance of adhering to consumer legislation as a practising aromatherapist? 5. Explain what is meant by the legislation entitled COSHH.

CHAPTER 12 Research in Aromatherapy Owing to the increased public and professional interest in aromatherapy. there is a growing need for aromatherapists to justify their work in terms of its efficacy. This chapter gives a general overview as to how aromatherapists may approach research in order to extend their professional development. It will also help you to 232 . It is always possible that after the research has been carried out it may prove that initial expectations are unconfirmed. which will give you ideas for ways of approaching research based on the methodology and results of others. challenging and rewarding but it should be remembered that it is a very timeconsuming process that requires both time and commitment. It is useful to read research projects that have already been undertaken. Research can be stimulating. Objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to relate the following knowledge to your work as an aromatherapist: > the advantages and disadvantages of research > the stages involved in developing a research proposal > seeking possible sources of funding > how to access research data on aromatherapy. cost-effectiveness and safety. Getting Started The first decision to make is to identify clearly an area of aromatherapy of interest and define the objectives of the project. If aromatherapy is to gain recognition. Practical disadvantages are that a chosen project may require significant funding and/or involve a considerable amount of time. The advantages for the aromatherapist are that it adds credibility to the aromatherapy professional and is an excellent learning tool in aiding professional development. it is necessary for research to be carried out in order that benefits may be assessed critically and objectively.

along with the positive and negative aspects of the research. A research proposal is important as it: > helps to clarify the main objectives of the proposal > demonstrates your commitment > is a means of communicating the objectives to other partners you want to involve in the research > is a necessary requirement for obtaining funding and support to implement the project. London W1G 9QD or by e-mail to info@rccm. www. 1 Harley Street. Turning the Research Idea into a Proposal Once you have read about your chosen area sufficiently.Research in Aromatherapy ascertain whether anybody else has attempted research in your chosen area of interest. 83840 La Martre. Local branches are often advertised in local newspapers. The RCCM and its Centralised Information Service for Complementary Medicine (CISCOM) can provide help with literature searches and guidance regarding research methodology. A research proposal involves a detailed written plan of the research you intend to conduct. A general outline for a research proposal is as follows: > Title > A summary of your qualifications and experience (evidence that you are a suitable person to conduct the proposed research) > Summary of objectives > Literature review > Planned methodology for collecting data > Budget for the proposal > Proposed time frame for its completion. France.essentialorc. University libraries are a good source of reference for reading material for ideas along with the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM) (see below) and professional journals such as the International Journal of Aromatherapy (see Resource section). ‘Au village’.000 research references with some 1064 on aromatherapy. the next stage is to turn the research idea into a research proposal. The RCCM now provides a service that facilitates an evidence-based approach to complementary and integrative medicine by using specialist skills and drawing on the CISCOM database. which needs to be specific and measurable. Suite 5. Aromatherapy Database – research into the psychophysiological properties of essential oils and their components. Tel/Fax: (33) 494 84 29 93.org.com.rccm.uk Their website address is: www. A CISCOM Search Request is available on payment of £20 covering from one to 50 references and a form is available from the RCCM.org. Provence. 233 . 800 references and abstracts from published research papers sourced from over 200 professional journals worldwide.uk Self-help groups in an area of chosen interest are another source of reference and access to these may be through GP surgeries/health clinics. hospitals and the internet. The database contains around 70. Contact: EORC.

Seeking Funding Another important consideration is how the project will be funded. There are a number of organisations that offer support.rcn.uk) > Clinicians or scientists (may be hospital or university based) > Medical Ethics Committees attached to local health authorities > Schools of Aromatherapy (it is helpful to select one that is linked to a University) > Aromatherapy associations > Practitioners of aromatherapy or another field of complementary therapy > Essential Oil Resource Consultants (see useful addresses at the back of this book). Once you have gained the resources and necessary support to conduct the research it is important to stay focused. Possible sources of contact are: > University departments (especially if they run courses in complementary health) that already publish research in related subjects and may be able to put you in touch with a researcher who can advise or assist in the development of research methodology > NHS trusts/primary care groups or GP practices > Royal College of Nursing. Expert advice is therefore essential in the methodology.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition It is at this stage that contact should be made with possible partners for the research. so that your project will be taken seriously. When contacting possible sponsors it is important to be clear and specific in your proposal and to develop your application to meet their criteria. The AOC has a list of bodies that may provide funding for research projects. as research is very time consuming and at times can be very challenging. but most importantly how it will be analysed and presented. advice and sponsorship to individuals with sound research proposals. ideally those whose daily work involves research design and implementation. Complementary Therapies Special Interest Group.org. London WIM 0AB (www. It is important to gain expert advice when undertaking research. 20 Cavendish Square. design and analysis stages as research needs to be carried out and presented in such a way that it can stand up to scientific scrutiny. The RCCM also encourages and sponsors research into complementary medicine. You need to consider fully not only how the research will be carried out. 234 . and the opportunity to make a difference by influencing practice in the industry. Experienced researchers have the necessary expertise and resources that fledgling researchers need so it is advisable to seek their help as much as possible. Seeing a research project through to the end can have enormous rewards as there is ultimately the satisfaction of having the research published.

using the guidelines given in this chapter.Research in Aromatherapy Task Research an area of aromatherapy that interests you and report your findings. is there a possible business practice opportunity? 235 . You may wish to consider the following: > Is aromatherapy currently being used locally. or nationally in your chosen aspect of research. and if so where and how? > How long has aromatherapy been used in this field? > How effective has aromatherapy been and how has this been measured? > Are there any particular essential oils or forms of treatment found to be most effective? > If aromatherapy has not been used in your chosen area of research.

induces relaxation. counteracting melancholy. creates erythema. alleviates depression Fungicidal: Haemostatic: Hepatic: Hypertensive: Hypotensive: Hormonal: kills or inhibits the growth of yeasts. uplifting effect on the mind and body digestive aid and tonic. relieves strain or tension increases local circulation. warming produces a calming effect has a rousing. detoxifying helps cleanse the body of impurities stimulates the secretion of urine induces or assists menstruation aids the removal of catarrh combats fever Immunostimulant: stimulates the body’s own natural defence system Insecticidal: Laxative: Nervine: Parasiticidal: Parturient: Relaxant: Rubefacient: Sedative: Stimulant: Stomachic: Tonic: Uterine: Vasodilator: Vasoconstrictor: Vulnerary: repels insects promotes elimination of the bowels strengthens the nervous system destroys and prevents parasites aids childbirth soothes.Glossary Analgesic: Antidepressant: relieves pain uplifting. helps to control infection an agent that destroys bacteria relieves flatulence (wind) by expelling gas from the intestines stimulates and clears the mind encourages cell regeneration releases nasal mucus reduces odour helps combat impurities. prevents or eases spasms or convulsions substance that inhibits the growth of a virus stimulates the appetite increases or stimulates sexual desire contracts bodily tissues. moulds etc. arrests bleeding/haemorrhage tonic to the liver. aids functioning of liver increases blood pressure lowers blood pressure balances or regulates the body’s hormonal secretion Anti-haemorrhagic: prevents or combats bleeding Anti-inflammatory: alleviates inflammation Anti-microbial: Anti-rheumatic: Antiseptic: Antispasmodic: Antiviral: Aperitif: Aphrodisiac: Astringent: Bactericidal: Carminative: Cephalic: Cytophylactic: Decongestant: Deodorant: Depurative: Detoxifying/ detoxicant: Diuretic: Emmenagogue: Expectorant: Febrifuge: 236 destroys or resists pathogenic micro-organisms helps relieve and prevent rheumatism destroys and prevents the development of microbes relieves cramp. improves appetite strengthens and enlivens the whole or specific parts of the body tonic to the uterus an agent that dilates the blood vessels an agent that causes narrowing of the blood vessels helps heal wounds and sores .

Elements Books Mojay. Robert (1991) The Art of Aromatherapy. Mo (1996) Body Massage Therapy Basics. Shirley (1993) Shirley Price’s Aromatherapy Workbook. Rhiannon (1999) Becoming an Aromatherapist. David G. (1996) The Chemistry of Essential Oils. Thorsons Price. Chapman & Hall Watt. C. West & Holler (1992) Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry Tisserand. Hodder & Stoughton Skoog. Micelle Press Worwood.W. Valerie Ann (1995) The Fragrant Mind. Shirley and Len (1995) Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. Daniel Company Ltd Harris. Gaia Books Ltd Price. Churchill Livingstone Rosser. Andrew (1996) Massage and Aromatherapy: A Guide for Health Professionals. Daniel Company Ltd Vickers. Llewellyn Publication Bettelheim & March (1990) Introduction to Organic Biochemistry Davis. Thorsons Lawless. Dr Jean (1991) The Practice of Aromatherapy.Bibliography Berwick. Julia (1995) The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils. Bantam Books 237 . Bloomsbury Williams. private publication Wildwood. Gabriel (1996) Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Tony (1995) Essential Oil Safety. Churchill Livingstone Valnet. Chrissie (1996) The Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Aromatherapy. Ann (1994) Holistic Aromatherapy. an A–Z. C. Martin (1994) Plant Aromatics.W. Robert and Balacs.W. C. How to Books Lawless. Patricia (1995) Aromatherapy. Daniel Company Ltd Tisserand. A Guide for Health Professionals. Julia (1994) Aromatherapy and the Mind.

com Fragrant Earth Orchard Court Magdalene Street Glastonbury Somerset BA6 9WE Tel: 01458 831216 www.fragrant-earth.com Professional Journals Aroma Publications (produce a magazine called Aromatica) PO Box 22771 London N22 6ZN Aromatherapy Today Alembic Publishing 36 Cotham Hill Bristol BS6 6LA Tel: 0117 908 7770 238 .naturaltoucharomatherapy.butterburandsage.com Natural Touch Hilton House Mayles Lane Wickham Hants PO17 5ND 01329 833220 www.Useful Addresses Essential Oils Butterbur & Sage 7 Tessa Road Reading Berkshire RG1 8HH Tel: 0118 950 5100 www.

uk 239 .com) Aromatic Thymes 18–4 E Dundee Road Suite 200 Barrington IL 60010 USA Tel: (847) 304–0975 Email: aromatic@interaccess.org.fht.com Professional Associations The Federation of Holistic Therapists 3rd Floor Eastleigh House Eastleigh Hampshire SO50 9FD Tel: 02380 684500 www.co.Useful Addresses International Journal of Aromatherapy Elsevier Science 32 Jamestown Rd London NW1 7BY (it is possible to subscribe online at Amazon.igpp. ISPA and the RQA) 82 Ashby Rd Hinckley Leics LE10 1SN Tel: 01455 637987 Email: admin@ifparoma.org The International Guild of Professional Practitioners (incorporating the Guild of Complementary Practitioners and ITEC Professionals) 4 Heathfield Terrace Chiswick London W4 4JE Tel: 020 8994 7856 Email: professionals@itecworld.uk www.co.uk The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA) (incorporating the IFA.

net Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC) PO Box 387 Ipswich Suffolk IP2 9AN Tel/Fax: 01473 603630 E.org.mail: info@a-t-c.uk.aoc.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition General Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC) PO Box 19834 London SE25 6WF www.uk Essential Oil Resource Consultants (EORC) Au Village 83840 La Martre Provence France Tel/Fax: (33) 494 84 29 93 essentialorc@aol.com 240 .

240 aromatic baths 195–6 aromatic rings 104 asthma 10 Avicenna 2 avocado oil 148 babies 11. 194 aldehydes 106 allergies 10 amygdala 122 analgesic oils 127 analysis of oils 109–11 Aniseed 13 anti-inflammatory oils 127 apricot kernel oil 148 Arnica 13 Aromatherapy Database 233 aromatherapy oils (definition) 19 Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC) 3. 156 see also carrier oils blood pressure 9. 240 Aromatherapy Regulation Working Group 3 Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC) 17–18. 91 bladder meridian 171–2 blending 143–6. 221 marketing 212–19 premises 210–11 professional ethics 8. 18. 91 Bergamot 11. 92 botanical names 33 bottles 24. 16 Black Pepper 42–3. 13. setting 220–1 breakages 227 breathing exercises 190–1 Bristol Cancer Help Centre 4 brow chakra 179 bruising 10 burners 196 business practice business planning 209–12 employment standards 203–9 insurance 8. 105 acute toxicity 12 adulteration 29 advertising 215–19 aesthetics 145 after-care advice 193–4 AIDA formula 215–16 alcohol 105–6. 14. 40–2. 134. 9–10. 33 boundaries.Index absorption 115–19 Access to Health Records Act (1990) 207 acetic acid 102 acids 102. 45–6. 107 cancer 4. 91 bergaptene 107 best before date 32 biosynthesis 102 bisabolene 104–5 Bitter orange 14. 219–21 quality assurance 206 workplace rules 205–6 see also legislation buying essential oils 29–34 Cajeput 43–4. 91 Calamus 15 calendula oil 149 Camphor 15. 123 Blue Chamomile 11. 15 carbon 103 carbon dioxide extraction 28 carbon-13 NMR 110 carcinogenic substances 15 241 . 91 bath oils 194–6 benzoic acid 105 Benzoin 39–40. 195 BACUP 4 base chakra 176 Basil 15 Basil (Sweet) 38–9.

of oils 145 compounds 103. 207 Consumer legislation 228–9 Consumer Protection Act (1987) 229 containers 17–19. 92 Moroccan 46–7. 48–9. 196 conception vessel meridian 173–4 confidentiality 133 consultation case studies 140 confidentiality 133 form 133–4 purpose of 131–3 record-keeping 134–9. 193 cost-effectiveness 146. 207 creams. 44–5. 32 preferences of 145 relationship with 220–1 requests of 204 retention of 219 clothing 187 Clove Bud 15 Clove Leaf 15 Clove Stem 15 cold pressed oils 146 colds 8 colleague relationships 204–5 communication skills 203–5 compatibility. Nicholas 2 cuts 10 Cypress 11. 92 Data Protection Act (1984) 207. 32 Clary Sage 47–8. 33 contra-indications 8–11 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) (1998) 226 cosmetics 19. expiry 32 decoration 188 . 13. 195 chromatography see Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC) chronic toxicity 12 cineole 107 Cinnamon 16 Cinnamon Leaf 15 circulation meridian 168 circulatory disorders 9 circulatory system 123 citral 106 242 citronellal 106 citrus oils 27. 24. blending with 197 cross-merchandising 219 crown chakra 179 crystals 146 Culpeper. 108 compresses 127. 45–6. 92 clients information to 18–19. 230 date.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition carrier oils apricot kernel 148 avocado 148 calendula 149 choice of 147 evening primrose 149 grapeseed 150 hazelnut 150 jojoba 151 macadamia nut 151 olive oil 152 peach kernel 152 pot marigold 149 rosehip 153 safflower 153 sunflower 154 sweet almond 155 wheatgerm 155 caryophyllene 104 cavacrol 108 central nervous system 125–6 chakras 175–9 chamazulene 104 Chamomile German 11. 92 Roman 11. 92 chemistry analysis 109–11 biosynthesis 102 chemotypes 108 compounds 103. 108 organic 103 structure 103–8 synthesis 101–2 chemotypes 108 children 11.

14. 51–2. 45–6. 93 fever 8 financial control 208 fire extinguishers 225 Fire Precautions Act (1971) 225 first-aid 224 fixed oils see carrier oils flame ionisation detector 110 flu 8 fluid drainage 123 fluid intake 194 foot baths 196 footwear 187 fractionated oils 29 fractures 10 Frankincense 11. meridians. 219–21 Eucalyptus 50–1. 94 grapeseed oil 150 Greeks 2 haemorrhage 8 hairstyle 187 hand baths 196 hand hygiene 188 handling oils 17–19. 117 epilepsy 9 equipment 156 essences 27 essential oils (definition) 19 establishment rules 205–6 esters 106 estragole 15 ethics 8. 92 Ginger 16. 107 gall bladder meridian 171 Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC) 30. 109–11 Gattefosse. 33. general 134 health and safety 243 .Index deep breathing 190–1 degradation 32 demonstrations 212–13 Department of Health guidelines 3 dermis 116 detoxifying oils 127 diabetes 9 diet 134. 93 geranyl acetate 106 German Chamomile 11. electromagnetic energy. 94 governing vessel meridian 174–5 GP advice from 8 practices 3 referral to 132. 133 Grapefruit 11. 56–7. 53–4. Renee 2 general health 134 General Product Safety Regulations (1994) 19 geranic acid 105 geraniol 105 Geranium 11. 54–5. 93 frictions massage 185 funding 4–5. 52–3. steam 25–6 doctor see GP dowsing 146 droppers 24 duration of treatment 192 effleurage massage 184–5 Egyptians 2 Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) 226 electromagnetic energy 175 emergency procedures 226 emotional state 134 Employers’ Liability Act (1969) 228 employment standards 203–9 endocrine system 124–5 energy see chakras. yin/yang enfleurage 28 epidermis 116. 194 directories 218–19 distillation. 93 eugenol 108 evening primrose oil 149 exhibitions 213–14 expiry date 32 expression 27–8 extraction 25–9 fenchone 107 Fennel 15. 234 furocoumarins 14. 226 hazelnut oil 150 headaches 11 health.

32 insurance 8. 59–60. working from 210 homeopathic treatment 11 hormones 124–5 hydrocarbons 103 hygiene 189–90 hypothalamus 126 imagery 192 immune system 123–4 Industry Code of Practice for Hygiene in Beauty Salons and Clinics 222 244 infection 123–4 infectious diseases 8 information from supplier 32–4 to client 18–19. 94 jewellery 188 jojoba oil 151 Juniper 58–9. 221 internet marketing 219 irritation 14–15 isoprene units 104 Jasmine 57–8. 95 legislation Access to Health Records Act (1990) 207 Consumer legislation 228–9 Consumer Protection Act (1987) 229 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) (1998) 226 Data Protection Act (1984) 207. 230 Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) 226 Employers’ Liability Act (1969) 228 Fire Precautions Act (1971) 225 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation (1981) 224 Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) 223–4 Industry Code of Practice for Hygiene in Beauty Salons and Clinics 222 local authority bye-laws 223 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (1982) 223 Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) 226 Performing Rights Act 230 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992) 226 Reporting of Injuries. 123 hippocampus 121–2 Hippocrates 2 history of aromatherapy 2–3 Ho Leaf 15 hobbies 134 home. Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) 227 .Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition and aromatherapist 190 and client 189 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) (1998) 226 Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) 226 Fire Precautions Act (1971) 225 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation (1981) 224 Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) 223–4 Industry Code of Practice for Hygiene in Beauty Salons and Clinics 222 local authority bye-laws 223 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (1982) 223 Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) 226 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992) 226 Reporting of Injuries. Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) 227 security of premises 227–8 spillages 227 in treatment area 189 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 224 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulation (1981) 224 Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) 223–4 heart chakra 178 heart conditions 9 heart meridian 164 herbal remedies 19 high blood pressure 9. 94 keytones 107 kidney meridian 167 labelling 18–19 lactones 107 large intestine meridian 170–1 Lavender 11.

20. 97 peach kernel oil 152 Pennyroyal 13 Peppermint 16. 143 measles 8 media 214–15 medical history 133 see also GP medication 11. 16 limonene 104 linalool 29. 71–2.Index Sale of Goods Act (1979) 229 Sale and Supply of Goods Act (1994) 229 Supply of Goods and Services Act (1982) 229 Trade Descriptions Act (1968) 229 Lemon 11. 32. 67–8 nervous system 125–7 neuromuscular massage 186 newspaper advertising 216–17 noise levels 188 notes. 96 marketing 18–19. 63–4. 96 menstruation 11. 14. 95 lifestyle 134 lighting 188 limbic system 121–3 Lime 14. Marguerite 3. 16 meridians 162–75 mevalonic acid 102 migraines 11 monoterpenes 104 monoterpenic alcohols 105 Moroccan Chamomile 46–7. of treatment 146 olfaction 119–21 olive oil 152 operational planning 211–12 oral toxicity 12–13 Orange 11 Orange (Sweet) 68–9. 105–6 linalyl acetate 106 liver meridian 165–6 local authority bye-laws 223 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (1982) 223 low blood pressure 9 lung meridian 164–5 lymphatic system 123–4 macadamia nut oil 151 magazine advertising 217 mailshots 218 Mandarin 11. 97 organic chemistry 103 organic essential oils 30–2 origin. 134 Medicines Act (1968) 19. 97 Performing Rights Act 230 pericardium meridian 168 peripheral nervous system 126–7 personal belongings 228 personal hygiene 188 245 . 92 Mugwort 13 Myrrh 66–7. 60–1. 70–1. 96 National Health Service 3–4 National Occupational Standards 3 Neroli 11. 194 objective. 95 Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) 226 Marjoram (Sweet) 64–5. 62–3. 97 patch testing 10. 65–6. of oil 33 oxides 107 oxygenated compounds 103 Palmarosa 69–70. 95 Lemongrass 16. in oils 145 nut allergies 146 Nutmeg 15 nutrition 134. 16. 212–19 mass spectrometer 110 massage benefits of 183–4 effleurage 184–5 frictions 185 neuromuscular 186 petrissage 185 pressures 186 vibrations 185 Maury. 20 Medicines Control Agency (MCA) 19 meditation 190 Melissa 16. 16 Patchouli 11.

15 Savory 13 scar tissue 10 scarification 27 scarlet fever 8 security 227–8 sensitisation 15–16 septum pellicidum 122 . 98 petrissage massage 185 phenols 107–8 photosensitisers 107 photosensitivity 14. 194 photosynthesis 101 phototoxicity 14 physiology absorption 115–19 circulatory system 123 endocrine system 124–5 limbic system 121–3 lymphatic system 123–4 musculo-skeletal system 127 nervous system 125–7 olfaction 119–21 respiratory system 118–19 phytohormones 125 phytonic process 28 Pine 74. 78–9. 219–21 progressive muscular relaxation (PMR) 191–2 promotional material 217–18 proportions 144–5 public relations 214–15 purchasing essential oils 29–34 purity 30 quality. Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC) professional ethics 8. 98 Rosewood 77–8. 207 Red Thyme 15 referral networking 214 regulation see legislation relaxation 134 relaxation techniques 190–2 Reporting of Injuries. 75–6. Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) 227 research 4–5. 30–2 storage 17–19. 44–5. 33 toxicity 12–16 see also health and safety safflower oil 153 safrole 15 Sale of Goods Act (1979) 229 Sale and Supply of Goods Act (1994) 229 Sandalwood 11. 73. 98 pinene 104 planning. 42. 92 Romans 2 Rose 11. 98 Rose otto 11 rosehip oil 153 Rosemary 76–7.Aromatherapy: Therapy Basics Second Edition Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992) 226 personal recommendation 212 pesticides 31 Petitgrain 11. business 209–12 Pot Marigold oil 149 pregnancy 11 premises 210–11 presentations 212–13 press releases 214 pressures massage 186 production date 32 professional associations 221 see also Aromatherapy Organisations Council (AOC). 232–5 Research Council for Complementary Medicine 233 research planning 209 resource management 207–9 respiratory system 118–19 Roman Chamomile 11. 99 santalol 106 Sassafras 13. of oil 30 quality assurance 206 246 Ravensara anisata 15 record-keeping 134–9. 24. 99 Royal College of Nursing 234 rufebacient oils 127 rules of workplace 205–6 sacral chakra 177 safety contra-indications 8–11 handling 17–19. 226 regulations 17–19.

Dr Jean 2–3 vaporisers 196 varicose veins 10 ventilation 17. absorption through 115–17 skin disorders 8. 10 skin intolerances 10 skin type 146 small intestine meridian 169–70 smell see olfaction smoking 134. 24. 99 Tarragon 15 Teatree 16. 104–5 throat chakra 178 thrombosis 9 Thuja 13 Thyme 16. 188 terpenes 102. 106 skin. 99 temperature 17. 194 Soil Association 30–2 solar plexus chakra 177 solvent extraction 26–7 spillages 227 spleen meridian 166–7 sprains 10 staff resources 208 Star Anise 15 steam distillation 25–6 steam inhalation 196 stock control 208. 100 vibrations massage 185 visualisation 192 warnings. 80–1. 228 stomach meridian 168–9 storage 17–19. 117. to client 18–19 waste disposal 227 wheatgerm oil 155 Wild Thyme 15 Wintergreen 13 word-of-mouth recommendation 212 work conditions 206 workplace rules 205–6 Wormwood 13 written communication 204 yang meridians 162–3 yin meridians 162 yin/yang 160–1 Ylang Ylang 11. 84. 42.Index sesquiterpenes 104. 33 strength see proportions stress management 4 subtle body 175–6 sunflower oil 154 sunlight 14. giving 212–13 Tangerine 79–80. 24. 188 Vetivert 83. 207 triple warmer meridian 172–3 Tswett. 81–2 thymol 108 time management 208 toxicity 12–16 Trade Descriptions Act (1968) 229 treatment objective 146 treatment plans 140 treatment record 134–9. 194 Supply of Goods and Services Act (1982) 229 sweet almond oil 155 swelling 10 synergy 143 synthesis 101–2 talks. Michael 109 tuberculosis 8 unrefined oils 146 Valnet. 100 247 .

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Barbara Baldin liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->